Should I Go To A Chiropractor For Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury that results from a car accident that leads to chronic neck stiffness and pain. As the symptoms of whiplash do not usually appear instantly after the accident, many people delay the visit to a chiropractor for the treatment, which can worsen the condition. Therefore, many chiropractors recommend that you should see them immediately after a car accident despite whether you are experiencing signs and symptoms so that you can avoid the need for the treatment of neck pain in the future.
By visiting your chiropractor soon after an auto accident, you can diagnose if you have whiplash and go for the treatment right away. If you missed an immediate exam after an accident, consider visiting your chiropractor if you experience neck pain or stiffness, shoulder pain or stiffness, and headache. Without proper treatment, the pain resulting from whiplash can last for several weeks, months, or even years. Early and proper treatment for whiplash can minimize the risk of long-term complications, so you shouldn’t delay your treatment if you experience symptoms.
How Will a Chiropractor Help?
Chiropractors handle whiplash gently, as they know there is soreness associated with the injury. Before a chiropractor moves toward full-blown treatment, he may assist you in neck muscles stretching or recommend you icing at home to reduce muscular swelling that comes along with the injury. He may then go for spinal manipulation, which involves manual work to place the spinal vertebrae back into their proper location. This helps to eliminate pressure and stress caused by spinal misalignment and allow the neck and spine to begin the process of healing that will bring you final and ultimate relief.
Chiropractors use different kinds of techniques to help relieve the pain of whiplash. Here are some:
- Spinal manipulation for whiplash: It is also known as chiropractic adjustments. In spinal manipulation, misaligned neck joints are identified and then positioned back into their proper place. This can be achieved by gently moving those joints in the proper direction. In some cases, the chiropractor may apply a slow mobilizing movement and in other swift but gentle thrust in the right direction.
- Relaxation or muscle stimulations as whiplash treatments: The primary treatment for whiplash used by chiropractors for muscle dysfunction is muscle relaxation or stimulation. This procedure includes a gentle stretch to the muscles having excessive tension and repeated contractions of the muscle that has restricted movements.
- Specific trigger point therapy: The chiropractor identifies spinal joints, which show abnormal or limited motion (commonly called subluxations). He will help restore spinal joint movement with a gentle thrusting technique. That can stimulate the nervous system and stretch body tissues to reinstate the normal functioning of spinal joints.
- Interferential electrical stimulation: One commonly used technique includes the use of an interferential electrical stimulation device. That can involve low-frequency, painless currents to stimulate the injured muscles of the neck. That can lower inflammation and pain caused by whiplash.
- McKenzie Exercises: Sensorimotor and Stabilization: McKenzie exercises are designed especially to reduce disc instability associated with a whiplash injury. These exercises comprise simple movements performed in the clinic or at home. In this way, patients also play an active role in their recovery.
- Therapeutic massage: It is a common soft tissue therapy that relieves muscle tension. Also, depending on the whiplash injury, a chiropractor may include different stretch-and-resist techniques and muscle energy therapy.
If you are having whiplash pain, a chiropractor can treat your body as a whole. He will find out the underlying cause of the pain and plan a tailored treatment process depending on the severity of your injury. More so, an emphasis on self-care and prevention at the Chiropractic clinic as the key to body care will be advocated. This allows you to gain short and long-term relief from pain.
My sister suffered a whiplash incident when she was a teenager. She did not receive treatment because she did not feel the injury right away. Later on, in life, she found out that without treatment, she is still dealing with issues caused by whiplash. Had she known, she would have seen a chiropractor. A chiropractor could have treated her body as a whole. If they could have found the cause of the pain and given treatment, maybe even give her information on self-care, as you suggest, she would probably be whole right now.