Posted on November 23, 2020
Car accidents are extremely common, with research suggesting that around 6 million take place in the United States every year. The types of injuries that are sustained a result of being involved in a car accident can vary hugely. Aside from the estimated 90 people per day who sadly lose their lives, around 3 million other people are hurt severely enough to require medication attention. There are also many injuries that are mild enough to go unreported altogether.
One of the most common injuries reported in people who have been involved in a car accident is whiplash. Here’s what you need to know about this injury and how visiting a chiropractor can help you heal and recover more quickly.
Whiplash is an injury that occurs when sudden force placed onto the body causes a person’s head and beck to rapidly move (or whip) back and forth or from side to side. This sudden action can cause a range of micro-injuries to the structures inside the neck and the top of the spine, including hyperextended or torn muscles, ligament, and other connective tissues damaged intervertebral discs in the cervical spine and even fractured bones.
While auto accidents are by far the most common cause of whiplash, it can still occur in other situations, such as if you fall over or have an accident as part of sporting activity.
One of the biggest challenges of whiplash is that it isn’t immediately obvious. In fact, it often doesn’t start to manifest with symptoms until hours or even a couple of days after the event that caused it. Many people walk away from the accident thinking that they haven’t suffered an injury, only to start to experience issues caused by whiplash later on.
Common whiplash symptoms include:
Loss of range of movement in the neck
Headaches, particularly low in the head/the base of the skill
Aching shoulders, arms, and upper back
Tingling or numbness in the arms
Patients may experience one or a combination of these symptoms, and their severity can vary.
Chiropractors are trained professionals that specialize in injuries and disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system – the bones, muscles, and connective tissues inside the body. It is these structures that are affected by whiplash, making chiropractors the perfect practitioners to deal with this type of injury.
Unlike conventional medical treatment, chiropractic care is non-invasive and drug-free. Instead, practitioners use their hands and manual instruments to apply a number of techniques to the body to help improve their function. They do this by realigning the spine so that any pressure that had been placed onto the spinal cord, which is a key element of the central nervous system, is eliminated. This helps all other body systems to function more effectively, creating a number of therapeutic benefits. These include:
Counteracting inflammation, which helps improve patient mobility and reduces the patient discomfort.
Stimulating the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals like endorphins and serotonin.
Boosted circulation, enabling nutrient-rich blood to move more effectively around the body and reach the area which requires healing, speeding up patient recovery.
Release of tension contained within the muscles that are causing pain and stiffness.
Improvement of the ability of the neck muscles to maintain the stability of the neck.
All chiropractic treatment plans are bespoke, tailored to the individual needs of each patient, and adapted based on how they respond to the techniques used, which can include spinal manipulation, therapeutic massage, trigger point therapy, and spinal decompression. Most treatment plans start with a series of frequent appointments to help maximize relief and these may then be reduced to less often to help you manage any ongoing effects from your injury.
If you’d like more information about how chiropractic care can help with whiplash, or to schedule an appointment, call our friendly and knowledgeable team today.