If you’ve been in a car accident, whether it’s a little fender bender or a serious wreck, then you know how easily someone can get whiplash.
Whiplash is a neck strain or neck sprain which occurs when there’s a sudden trauma that jerks the neck back and forth, like a whip – hence the term, whiplash. When this occurs, there can be not only some short-term neck pain but also limited movement and a host of other symptoms, such as muscle spasms, headaches, migraines, and vision problems.
Whiplash: Who should you see to treat it?
If you’ve had even a minor car accident, you may not think you’ll get whiplash. Or, if you do get whiplash, you may think the injury will heal on its own. But in fact the opposite of this is true: these symptoms can and will worsen over time, making your life miserable and painful. And although seeing a medical doctor may be your first impulse, you should consider seeing a chiropractor for whiplash first instead.
Why? Whiplash is a soft tissue injury, a common type of injury sustained after a car accident, and chiropractors have extensive knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and how to aid in healing soft tissue injuries in a holistic manner.
Whiplash and the Chiropractor: What to Expect
So what should you expect when you see a chiropractor for whiplash? First, expect the chiropractor to officially diagnose you through an examination. He or she will watch you walk and examine your spinal alignment and posture. The chiropractor may need to have you undergo x-rays or an MRI to make sure that you are not currently suffering from additional spinal degenerative conditions.
After it’s been determined that you do indeed have whiplash, you will start to receive treatment for it. Modalities first may include ultrasound, cryotherapy (a fancy therapeutic way of saying that you need to apply ice on the affected area), stretching, as well as wearing one of those support collars around your neck. The main immediate goal here is to reduce the painful inflammation that the injury has caused you.
The chiropractor will move into manipulations that will especially help if you have a herniated disc or other spinal degenerative issues. These may seem a little scary–the images and sounds of people getting their backs cracked. But, through any sort of manipulation, a chiropractor should not cause you any pain. They should instead bring you some relief.
What other treatments are available
Other treatments can include muscle relaxation, electrical stimulation of muscles, therapeutic massage, trigger point therapy (which can help relief muscle tension), and things that you can do outside of the chiropractor’s office–such as changes to your ergonomics and your lifestyle.
As you go through your treatments, you’ll see that this is not just about your neck and the whiplash, but about your whole well-being. Soon you will be able to enjoy the activities that you used to engage in before the accident–and you’ll be pain-free, without any invasive treatments.
Article Submitted By Community Writer