What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a common term used for the sudden movement of the neck moving back and forth after an impact. This causes the neck to have a "whipping" motion to the neck. In more technical terms "whiplash" is the hyperextension and hyperflexion of the cervical spine upon sudden impact. This is known as an acceleration/deceleration injury.
Common Causes of Whiplash
- Rear-ended auto-related accident
- Sports injury
- Any sudden head movement
Common Symptoms of Whiplash
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, and arms
- Visual changes (blurred vision)
- Sore Throat
- Loss of Voice
A Grading Scale Is Used to Determine the Severity of the Whiplash
- Grade 0: no complaints or physical signs
- Grade 1: neck pain but no physical signs
- Grade 2: neck pain and musculoskeletal signs
- Grade 3: neck pain and neurological symptoms
- Grade 4: neck pain and fracture /dislocation
When Should You Receive Medical Treatment?
After an initial trauma a visit to the emergency department may be necessary to rule out any life threatening injuries. During your emergency department visit, the doctor will examine your injuries; possibly obtain x-rays, CAT scan, and/or MRI. Once the doctor has ruled out any life threatening injuries, you will be discharge home. Once you are discharge home, it is recommended you seek follow-up care for your injuries. Chiropractic care has been successful in treating symptoms associated with whiplash.
Chiropractic care is a drug free, non-invasive approach to treating whiplash. It is associated with few, if any, side effects. Chiropractic treatment is personalized for each patient. Remember no two people are the same, nor are their injuries the same. Chiropractic treatment plans individualized and may include some of the following services:
- Spinal and/or extremity Manipulation (also called an adjustment) are recommended to help return motion to restricted joints, relax muscles and relieve nerve pressure.
- Physiotherapies such as ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation, and moist heat or cold therapy are used to help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation at the injury site.
- Rehabilitation exercises and stretches are recommended to assist in strengthen the neck muscles and prevent re-injury.
- Graston Technique is a soft tissue mobilization technique, which takes advantage of specially designed stainless steel instruments that aid the doctor in breaking up scar tissue and myofascial adhesions.
Complications of Untreated Whiplash
Untreated whiplash can lead to serious health issues and long-term pain. Joint restriction, over extended muscles and tendons can limit range of motion, which can place additional stress on the neck, head, and shoulders. Long-term limited range of motion can eventually lead to more serious conditions.
- Chronic Neck Pain and Soreness
- Stiffness and Long-term Mobility Issues
- Chronic Headaches
- Joint Restriction
If you are suffering from an injury related to "whiplash", give us a call today 504-456-9296. We can help you get better!