Whiplash is a neck injury affecting nearly 85 percent of all auto accident injury victims. Whiplash can cause chronic pain and disability if not treated immediately with evidence-based chiropractic care. At the moment of a car-to-car collision, passengers in either automobile often suffer hyperextension of neck vertebrae, muscles and ligaments. Simultaneously, flexion of cervical vertebrae forces the spine into an S shape, which abruptly shoves vertebrae out of their normal positions. Displaced vertebrae provoke nerve compression, muscle tears, ligament strain and other painful soft tissue injuries indicative of whiplash.
Symptoms of Whiplash
If you have been in an auto accident, you should be aware whiplash symptoms may not emerge for several days. Although neck pain typically affects auto accident victims within six to 12 hours of an accident, other signs of whiplash tend to develop over time. Often resembling post-concussion syndrome, symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain radiating into the arms and shoulders
- Jaw joint pain similar to TMJ stiffness and pain
- Muscle spasms in the neck and upper back
- Reduced ability to move the head and neck without severe pain
- Recurring headaches/migraines
- Arm and shoulder numbness
- Insomnia/sleep disturbances
- Memory and focusing issues
Treating whiplash with over-the-counter pain medications may help temporarily but analgesics do not address the underlying reason for whiplash–a misaligned spine, compression of nerves by vertebrae and soft tissue inflammation.
Diagnosis of Whiplash at Your St. Charles Chiropractor Clinic
In addition to a physical examination and evaluation of symptoms, your St. Charles chiropractic may order diagnostic imaging procedures such as computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Digital scans and images provide detailed pictures of your neck and spine to reveal areas of abnormalities or damage. By assessing digital scans, chiropractors can more effectively develop a treatment program for people with whiplash.
Treating Whiplash and Neck Injury with Chiropractic Techniques
Spinal adjustments restore normal positioning of vertebrae, relieve nerves of compression by vertebrae and stabilize functioning of the nervous system without surgery or drugs Adjustments are considered the most effective chiropractic treatment for reducing severity of whiplash symptoms and minimizing the risk of long-term health problems associated with whiplash.
Soft tissue rehabilitation is another whiplash treatment modality involving therapeutic massage, trigger point massage, range of motion/strengthening exercises and other chiropractic methods intended to stimulate soft tissues and encourage recovery from whiplash.
If you were involved in an auto accident, don’t delay preventative chiropractic treatment. Call RiverTowne Family Chiropractic today at 636-947-7463 to schedule an appointment with your St. Charles chiropractor.