Understanding Chiropractic Care for Whiplash

Whiplash is among the most common injuries stemming from auto accidents or slip-and-fall incidents. Whiplash injuries occur when the spine or (more commonly) the neck sustains rapid back and forth movement. These movements can occur in any direction, however the most common direction is from back to forward, also known as hyper-extension to hyper-flexion.

While whiplash is primarily seen in those who have experienced an auto accident, the injury can occur any time the body experiences high-force jerking motions (such as slip-and-fall accidents, sports injuries, etc.)

What Happens to the Body

As you probably know, tearing occurs when muscles, ligaments, joints, and tendons are stretched beyond their normal limits. In cases of whiplash, the affected area(s) undergo what is commonly referred to as “micro-trauma.” Micro-trauma is exactly what it sounds like: rather than the tearing of the entire tissue, only the individual fibers that make up those tissues tear. This causes the sprains/strains commonly associated with whiplash and make it difficult for the affected individual to perform everyday tasks without a great deal of pain or discomfort.

Symptoms of whiplash commonly include neck, shoulder, extremity, and back pain as well as dizziness, visual disturbances, and fatigue. Oftentimes symptoms do not present themselves until 12-24 hours after the individual has sustained an injury. This time-delay is the result of our body’s natural reaction to such injuries.

When a person experiences a car accident or other whiplash-inducing injury, the body releases adrenaline to help itself cope with the sudden stressful environment. Inflammation sets in after the adrenaline wears off, resulting in swelling and stiffness in the affected area (leading to pain and discomfort).

How Chiropractic Care Helps Whiplash

Our offices help patients relieve whiplash pain every day, as it is one of the most common injuries caused by auto accidents. We begin helping patients by performing a detailed intake process to fully understand all of the circumstances that led to the injury. We then perform a full and thorough examination of your overall body function, including: vitals, range of motion, orthopedic and neurological testing, as well as posture screenings. We then use those results to determine if further evaluation is needed (such as a CT scan or MRI).

Once we’ve fully uncovered the extent of the patient’s injuries, we put together a customized treatment plan to help the body return to its normal range of motion and performance. These treatment plans often include regular chiropractic adjustments as well as individualized exercise and stretching techniques to alleviate whiplash symptoms and pain.

If you’ve suffered from whiplash as a result of car accident or other injury, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with your closest Palmetto Wellness & Injury Centers location to begin the healing process!

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