Whiplash and Auto Accidents
Whiplash occcurs when the head is quickly moved forward and then snapped backward, or vice versa. Whiplash stretches and tears at the muscles, ligaments, discs, and nerves in the neck. Whether a result of a car accident, sports, or work injury, whiplash or other neck injuries warrant a thorough chiropractic examination.
Typical symptoms include: Neck pain, which typically starts a few hours after the accident and worsens over the following two days. This is often the result of muscle spasms. The muscles tighten and spasm as a result of the trauma in an effort to splint the injured area to protect it from further injury.
About half of those suffering from whiplash complain of headaches. These headaches, like the neck pain, are often the result of tightened, tensed muscles trying to protect the injured area.
Shoulder pain radiating down the arms, as well as radiating down into the shoulder blade area, may also be the result of tensed muscles or damage to the disc in the cervical spine.
Muscle tears are often described as burning pain, prickling or tingling. More severe disc damage may cause sharp pain with certain movements, which may or may not radiate into the arms, hand and fingers. Often pain from disc damage is relieved by holding your hand over your head.
ADDITIONAL AUTO INJURY CONDITIONS
In addition to whiplash, you can hurt anywhere following an accident. Below is a list of common symptoms following auto accidents. As with any pains, if you have any symptoms following an auto accident, you should get checked out by your chiropractor:
Neck pain and/or stiffness
Pain between the shoulder blades
Head seems to heavy
Low back pain and leg pain that radiates
Radiating pain in the upper limb
Sensitivity to noise
Buzzing in ears
Pain in the jaw or face
One of the most common misunderstood injuries occurs when a car runs under the back end of another. The car that is struck usually is lifted in the air and slammed back down. This type of accident frequently results in lower back disc injuries which go undiagnosed. At Koelling and Turnbull Chiropractic, this is were our experience is really benefical. At our office we have seen these types of cases for years and have several treatment approaches from manipulation and physical therapy to spinal decompression, depending on the severity of the injury.
Auto accidents frequently cause a concussion which is very serious and can have long-term implications ranging from chronic headaches to loss of mental function. Often because people do not think they are injured or they are having difficulty concentrating they go undiagnosed.
Chiropractic treatment is uniquely suited to rehabilitate auto accident related injuries. Through the use of manipulation and various physical therapies, combined with exercise, ergonomic and lifestyle changes, auto accident sufferers have much better outcomes when treated with chiropractic care.
Should you seek care?
It has been our experience that people don't know what to do after an accident. Whiplash injuries are very common and must be evaulated early on to prevent long term symptoms and restore proper function to the spine.
How can Chiropractic help?
When you receive treatment you are first evaluated and your injuries documented. X-rays are taken if indicated, and treatment is begun.
Treatment is aimed at reversing the sprain/strain complex explained earlier, and giving you relief, we want to reduce muscle spasm, reduce swelling, reverse joint fixation, take the pressure off the nerve, reduce a bulging or herniated disc.
Chiropractors specialize in treating auto injuries - chiropractic is an orthopedic based treatment, which is aimed at normalizing mechanical function. We use joint adjusting; massage therapy, electrical stimulation, heat and cold, muscle stretching, traction and more. Our treatments are focused directly at the sprain/strain complex. At Koelling and Turnbull Chiropractic our goal is to return you to normal and reduce the pain associated with your injuries as fast as possible.
If you would like to read more about the science of whiplash click here.