Whiplash is a form of injury related to the neck and spine. Most commonly caused by auto accidents, whiplash can also come from activities and sports injuries (skiing/snowboarding, football, soccer, gymnastics, etc.), severe blows to the head, assault, repetitive stress injuries, and chronic neck strain. Whiplash is most commonly characterized by sustaining some form of impact that causes the neck and skull to move in a direction beyond its normal limits which results in severely strained neck muscles, and then having those muscles react by “whipping” the head back in the opposite direction. This can include front/back and left/right directions. Because the neck cannot withstand very much of this motion, you could get whiplash from an accident that is as slow as 8 mph.
Common symptoms of whiplash include sore and stiff neck muscles, headaches, ringing in the ears or slight loss of hearing, dizziness, blurred vision, and pain and numbness localized in the head or even traveling down the shoulders and into the arms, hands, and fingers. These symptoms usually occur within the first few hours after whiplash, sometimes taking weeks to fully develop. In severe cases, concussions have been known to accompany whiplash injuries, as the brain can violently slam against the inside of the skull, resulting in bruising of the brain tissue. Most commonly, symptoms of a concussion sustained from whiplash are mental/emotional and will include irritability, restlessness or insomnia, depression, and mood swings in addition to other normal physical whiplash symptoms.
Because whiplash often does not require immediate hospitalization, these symptoms and their longer lasting damage to the spine can often go untreated. It is surprisingly common for a variety of aches, pains, and symptoms to be traced back to whiplash that was either never treated or not treated correctly. Any trauma to your spine, including whiplash, has lasting effects that are best addressed by a chiropractic doctor that specializes in the health of the spine and nervous system.
Whiplash is an injury that introduces many to chiropractic doctors. Medical doctors are invaluable during severe accidents that can cause whiplash, but are trained to focus more on immediate life-threatening emergencies (broken bones, bleeding, contusions, abrasions, compromised organ function). They are not trained to work with the more subtle symptoms stemming from whiplash, and often overlook the long-term effects of whiplash. This is where chiropractic doctors will thrive. Chiropractors use their abilities to work with the areas most commonly affected by whiplash and related injuries; namely, the spine. The spine can sustain severe trauma, resulting in subluxations, defined as a vertebra or vertebrae being out of proper alignment and interfering with the nervous system’s ability to perform at its best. The damaging effects of whiplash can leave lasting subluxations that, over time and without proper treatment, will be responsible for many more dramatic symptoms and even diseases, such as migraines, loss of vision, loss of hearing, sinus issues, and vertigo. Chiropractic is a safe, non-invasive method of restoring good health to the spine, thereby eliminating multiple symptoms without having to treat each one individually.
All spinal injuries are serious and best treated immediately by a chiropractic doctor.
Those that have experienced whiplash will get far better results and will have fewer aches and pains later in life by seeking chiropractic care within the first month. 93% of all patients using chiropractic care to treat whiplash will have improvement, more than any other form of care. Because chiropractic doctors are trained to work exclusively with the skeleton, joints, and nervous system, they are the most qualified doctors to use when wanting to restore proper neck curve, posture, and function after an injury like whiplash. And because whiplash can come from many different sources beyond auto accidents, having a good chiropractor in your corner can help you stay active and pain free in any activity!