The term “whiplash” was created in 1928 to define a neck injury caused by the sudden movement of the head backward, forward or sideways resulting in damage to the muscles, joints, ligaments and other connective tissues in the neck and upper back. Whiplash injuries can manifest in a wide variety of ways, including neck pain, headaches, fatigue, upper back and shoulder pain, cognitive changes and low-back pain.
If you have been involved in a car accident, whiplash injuries need to be taken very seriously. Because symptoms of a whiplash injury can take weeks or months to manifest, it is easy to be fooled into thinking that you are not as injured as you really are. Too often, people don’t seek treatment following a car accident because they don’t feel hurt. In fact, research shows that the severity of injuries sustained in a car accident is not directly proportional to the speed of impact. In other words, people can sustain serious injuries even in low-speed collisions.
Numerous factors contribute to the overall whiplash trauma such as the direction of the impact and the speed of the vehicles, as well as the gender, age and physical condition of the person involved. It is impossible to predict the pattern of symptoms that each individual will suffer. Unfortunately, by the time more serious complications develop, some of the damage from the injury may have become permanent. Numerous studies have shown that years after whiplash victims settle their insurance claims, roughly half of them state that they still suffer with injury-related symptoms.
Chiropractic care aids in recovery from whiplash
Whiplash is a unique condition that requires the expertise of a skilled health professional, specially trained to treat this type of injury. With proper care, many mild whiplash injuries heal within six to nine months. The single most effective treatment for minimizing the long-term impact of whiplash injuries is a combination of chiropractic care, rehabilitation of the soft tissues and stretching at home. Chiropractic care utilizes manual manipulation of the spine to restore the normal movement and function of the spinal joints.
In some severe cases of whiplash, it may be necessary to have some medical care as part of the overall treatment plan. The most common medical treatments include anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, trigger-point injections and, in some cases, epidural spinal injections. These therapies should only be used when necessary for short-term pain relief and should not be the treatment focus. After all, a drug cannot restore normal joint movement and stimulate healthy muscle repair.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a whiplash injury and have not found the relief for which you are looking, please call our office. We may be able to help.
Information submitted by Christopher M. Renze, D.C., D.I.B.C.N., of Renze Chiropractic Clinic, P.C. For more information, please visit www.renzechiro.com or call the office at 515-965-3844.