The term “whiplash” is used to describe a serious neck injury that occurs very suddenly. Whiplash causes severe strain on the muscles and tendons of the neck and back, as well as sprained ligaments. It also moves the vertebrates of the spine out of alignment. These combined can cause reduced range of motion, stiffness, pain and headaches in many people.
Whiplash occurs during collisions, most often during auto accidents. At the time of impact during a car accident, the body is typically thrown forward and then sharply backward, with the head and neck uncontrollably moving in a way that it normally doesn’t. It is common to tense up at the moment of the impact in an attempt at self-defense. The extreme movement combined with the high level of tension cause whiplash.
No, in the majority of cases whiplash will not resolve without treatment. In fact, many people end up suffering from whiplash for months, years or even an entire lifetime if they don’t seek treatment. Patients who get help for their whiplash pain will often experience a full recovery, without the need for invasive surgery or prescription medication.
The goal of whiplash treatment is to relieve pain while bringing back full range of motion. Ultimately, the chiropractor seeks to bring the patient back to the same good health that they had before they were in the accident. Whiplash treatment will usually involve spinal alignments/manipulations, which allow the displaced vertebrae to return to their normal position. These adjustments offer tremendous pain relief for most patients and can also help restore range of motion. Treatment also frequently involves physical therapy modalities such as heat packs, cold packs, ultrasound therapy, muscle stimulation therapy, traction, and myofascial release. Whiplash treatment is custom designed for each patient so that the ultimate relief can be achieved.
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