5 Ways a Chiropractic Clinic Can Treat Whiplash
Every year, more than two million people experience whiplash.
Although this commonly occurs during a car accident, you can also get whiplash from amusement park rides, high-impact sports, or a sudden fall.
If you're suffering from whiplash, there are ways to reduce your pain without pills or injections. One of the best courses of treatment you can seek is to visit a chiropractic clinic.
How can a chiropractic clinic treat whiplash? What should you expect? And does it really work?
We'll answer all these questions and more. Read on!
What Is Whiplash?
Before we discuss how a chiropractor can help you, let's first explain what whiplash is.
Whiplash is a common traumatic neck injury. It occurs when the head is forced forward (or backward) and then suddenly "whipped" in the opposite direction.
When this happens, the muscles and ligaments in your neck are stretched beyond their normal range of motion. These soft tissues may sprain or tear, resulting in pain and discomfort.
Common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Pain the shoulders, arms, and upper back
- Headaches (especially at the back of the head)
- Blurred vision
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
Most symptoms appear within a day or two after the trauma. In some cases, it may take a week or more for symptoms to manifest.
Mild to moderate cases of whiplash usually resolve over time with rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Some natural treatments, such as massage or physical therapy, can also relieve tension and help to restore range of motion.
But perhaps the most common treatment recommended for whiplash injury--and for good reason--is chiropractic care. A chiropractor can safely and naturally ease your discomfort and help your body to heal itself.
Here are five ways a chiropractic clinic can help you.
1. Your Body As a Whole
Even though you're experiencing pain in your neck, other parts of your spine and body may also be affected.
That's why chiropractors view (and treat) your body as a whole. Rather than focusing solely on symptoms, they look for the underlying cause of your pain.
A chiropractor can identify areas of restricted movement, disc or ligament injury, and muscle spasm. He'll also analyze the way you walk, sit, and move to better understand your spinal alignment and body mechanics.
This way, rather than giving you a "one size fits all" treatment, he can tailor a treatment plan to suit your individual needs. He'll also emphasize prevention and self-care as the keys to preserving your long-term health.
2. Spinal Manipulation
This is the most common type of treatment people associate with chiropractors.
It involves identifying spinal joints that are misaligned and moving them back into their proper place. This may be done with a slow mobilizing movement or a quick but gentle "thrust" in the desired direction.
Proper alignment of the body's the spine allows the body to heal itself without the risks of surgery or medication.
Once the spinal joints are in the correct alignment, you'll notice a reduction in pain and discomfort. You should also be able to move the affected area more freely.
3. Soft Tissue Therapies
Because whiplash involves soft tissue injury, a chiropractic clinic will also include one or more soft tissue therapies in your treatment plan.
The goal of these treatments is to restore proper muscle function. This may involve stretching or applying pressure to muscles that have excessive tension.
Therapeutic massage is one common therapy used to ease muscle tension. It may be performed by your chiropractor or a massage therapist employed by the chiropractic clinic.
Trigger point therapy involves finding tight, painful points in a muscle and placing direct pressure on these specific points. As with other techniques, the goal is to alleviate muscle tension and pain.
Depending on your injury, your chiropractor may also muscle energy therapy or various stretch-and-resist techniques. He may also use an activator or another instrument to treat the affected areas.
4. Other Natural Therapies
Although most of the therapies performed in a chiropractic clinic are hands-on, there are other options too.
One common therapy involves the use of an interferential electrical stimulation machine (electro stim for short).
The machine uses a painless, low-frequency electrical current to stimulate injured muscles. This helps to reduce pain and inflammation.
If you have severe muscle spasms, your chiropractor may use therapeutic ultrasound.
The ultrasound machine painlessly sends sound waves deep into your muscle tissues. It creates a gentle heat that increases circulation and encourages muscle relaxation.
5. McKenzie Exercises
In addition to therapies performed at the chiropractic clinic, you may also be given some exercises to do at home.
McKenzie exercises are often recommended to help with whiplash injury. They were specifically designed to reduce the disc derangement associated with neck injuries.
Your chiropractor will show you how to perform these exercises, which consist of simple movements. Once you know how to do them, you can easily transition to self-care at home.
McKenzie and other stabilization exercises allow you to take an active role in your own recovery.
Visit a Chiropractic Clinic
These are just a few of the many ways that a chiropractic clinic can help you after an accident.
By using these techniques, your chiropractor will help you return to your normal activities. He'll work to resolve any mechanical or neurological symptoms related to your whiplash.
Best of all, he'll do so without the use of dangerous pharmaceuticals or surgery.
Whiplash can be debilitating, but chiropractic care can help ease your symptoms as your body heals.
Are you looking for a reputable chiropractor in the Bradenton area? Click here to learn more about Dr. David S. Zamikoff or contact his office at (941) 761-4994.