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How Does a Chiropractor Treat Whiplash?

Written by: Lamark Media
February 16, 2017
Whiplash is a common car accident injury caused by injury to the neck muscles from the rapid forward and backward motion of the neck during a wreck.

Whiplash causes neck pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion, tenderness in the shoulders and upper back and arms, dizziness, and more. Severe whiplash can cause ringing in the ears, insomnia, irritability, and memory problems.

If you experience any neck pain following an accident, it is important you seek medical treatment right away. The symptoms of whiplash are sometimes not apparent until hours after a wreck. Even if you did not seek emergency medical care after an accident, you can still see a chiropractor so you can get medical treatment for whiplash.

Upon your visit to a ChiroCare office, a chiropractor will evaluate and examine your spine health. The doctor will identify areas of restricted joint movement, specifically around your neck. The doctor may use a palpitation technique, which will allow them to feel for tenderness and tightness. Your chiropractor may also request imaging tests, such as an x-ray or MRI, to evaluate any other possible injuries.

Once you have been diagnosed with whiplash, a treatment plan unique to your needs will be outlined.

There are several spinal manipulation techniques that may be used during your treatment for whiplash.

Instrument-assisted manipulation – Using specialized instruments, a chiropractor can apply force without pushing into the spine.

Flexion distraction – Another technique that does not involve pushing into the spine, flexion distraction involves using a slow pumping action on a herniated disc that may be aggravating your whiplash injury.

Specific spinal manipulation – First, the doctor must identify spinal joints that have restricted motion. The chiropractor will help restore motion using a gentle thrusting technique that stretches the soft tissue around the area and stimulates the restoration of normal motion.

Along with spinal manipulation, your physician may use other therapies to treat the injured soft tissues around the neck.

Therapeutic massage and trigger point therapy may help ease muscle tension. Manual joint stretching may involve stretching the neck to improve range of motion. Chiropractic physical therapy may also be suggested to strengthen the muscles, improve posture, and restore normal neck movement.

Most people recover from whiplash within a few months. Some people will continue to suffer pain for months or years after the injury. Continuing chiropractic treatment can help reduce the risk of chronic pain and help victims find relief from their whiplash injury.

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