WHAT IS WHIPLASH?
Whiplash is an injury to the neck due to a sudden jerking movement backward and then forward in the case of your car being rear ended. If you are hit at the front of the car your head will snap forward and then backward into the headrest. Whiplash can also be caused when you are hit to the side of the car and the neck snaps and stretches from side to side.
Most always you will experience pain in the muscles in the front of your neck to either side of your throat. These two muscles about the size / thickness of your pointer finger get stretched and jerked. If you press gently to either side of your throat you will feel a soreness and tenderness of this muscle after the accident. Especially down by where your clavicle front shoulder bone meets the front of your chest and then up just under the ear lobe where this muscle attaches to the head it will be super tender or painful.
The muscles to the rear of your neck begin right at the base of your head and continue in a downward direction the length of your back. Most often after the accident it will be most tender right at the base of the head and then very tender where the neck meets the shoulder level of your back. You can push with your thumbs into the base of your head and feel the soreness and or sharp pain where the muscle has been stretched and in some cases pulled from the bony surface of the rear of your skull. Yuck.
Most researchers consider a Whiplash to be the spine moving beyond or past the normal range of motion of the neck damaging the ligaments and muscles. This does happen frequently although the sudden jerking movement of being hit suddenly the initial rapid jerking also damages the muscles and in some cases the ligaments.
In severe cases of Whiplash the disks in between the bones of the neck can be stretched and damaged this is really bad due the disk not having the good blood flow that a muscle has to heal itself. Often the disks will tear and create a bulge that in many cases will never go away and get flared on and off for years after the accident. (It is this type of spine damage that the attorneys get huge payments for their customers due the deep permanent damage done to the neck/spine).
You know the huge dollar numbers on the billboards. 300.000.00 for my injury thanks Dan Newland or Morgan & Morgan. The payout is big because some neck Whiplashes are super bad and leave some people with a disability that you can’t see from the outside but only can see on a sophisticated MRI or another type study.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF WHIPLASH
You may have many different types of sensation ranging from the top of your head down into your arms and hands. You may experience one or more of the following symptoms, here are some of the most frequently felt effects of whiplash.
Pain in the front and rear of your neck
Head feels heavy and you need support for your neck
Reduced up and down and turning of neck movement
Neck stiffness due to pain
Strain into the shoulders and arms
Weakness in the arms
Tingling out from neck, down the arms and to the fingers
Dizziness (Vertigo) spinning sensation
Ringing in the ears
Irritability and difficulty to concentrate
Keep in mind there are times when you get into an accident and you do not notice the injury immediately. Whiplash symptoms do not always occur immediately after the injury. In some cases, it takes as long as 24 hours before you see any symptoms.
Frequently medical doctors treat the above symptoms with only medications ranging from over the counter meds like Advil and Tylenol to prescription meds like Hydrocodone and Oxycontin.
Painkillers are very effective to reduce your pain and discomfort but do not directly treat whiplash or work toward fixing it.
HOW DO CHIROPRACTORS ASSESS WHIPLASH and NECK PAIN?
When you are suffering from whiplash and neck pain, as a chiropractor I will closely examine your x-rays and or MRI scans and perform a thorough physical examination to make a proper assessment. Measuring and understanding the pain is actually one of most difficult things to do for doctors because it's all about communication, and establishing a clear dialogue about pain between you, the patient and me. Adequate time is necessary to be given to you the patient to accurately record all aspects of the injury due to the fact that it is this information the auto insurance adjuster or in cases the jury needs to have. The best and most accurate information is critical to determine how you were affected by the accident.
I record as a doctor and assess your pain and determine if it is intermittent or constant, what type of pain is occurring (e.g., stabbing, burning, etc.), what triggers pain, when is the pain more likely to occur during the day, and how much pain the patient is in on a scale of 0-10. After establishing a deep understanding of your situation and understanding the extent of the pain, I will then inquire about previous treatments and medications taken.
I will ask you on a per visit basis the level of pain that you are experiencing so all those involved in this accident have the best understanding of the condition. This will help all involved better understand the patterns of the condition. A thorough assessment will help me understand what type of treatment will best suit you and help relieve the severity of symptoms and correct the Whiplash to the best of our ability.
HOW DO CHIROPRACTORS TREAT WHIPLASH?
Chiropractic physical therapy stretching and exercise is vital to best treat Whiplash. Chiropractic care begins with a thorough assessment to understand the full scope of your injury, and we will also perform some orthopedic, neurological and spinal examination with X Ray, CT or MRI scans. Diagnostic imaging helps to determine the exact location of your neck pain and severity of your whiplash.
We organize a treatment plan for you with the focus of reducing pain and inflammation and stabilizing your neck to prevent further damage. We will also recommend neck exercises that you can perform at your home to avoid other issues.
Every visit I combine chiropractic care with physical therapy and massage therapy to enhance the effectiveness of correcting whiplash injuries. Physical therapy involves resistive exercises by the physiotherapist in our clinic and massage therapy may include therapeutic massage or a relaxation massage to increase relaxation of the damaged tissue.
If you’re searching for the best treatment option for whiplash injuries in Lakeland then call our auto accident chiropractic clinic for your comprehensive whiplash help. I look forward to hearing from you!
The good news is that a chiropractor like myself can help you feel better after a whiplash injury. It is a safe and effective way to deal with your Whiplash injury and help restore the movement and range of motion and health of your neck.