Car accidents can be a very scary, stressful, and often painful experience. These accidents often cause all types of damage, from physical to emotional to mental. The time after a car accident is truly a whirlwind, from filing police reports to insurance claims. Often, people involved in car accidents report no injuries, particularly in minor accidents.
However, many accident victims report severe neck pain in the days following a car accident. That neck pain is due to whiplash. Whiplash pain does not always surface until a day or two after a car accident. Sometimes the pain does not occur until a week or more. This is why it is very important to seek medical attention from a chiropractor, even if you do not have any visible injuries or immediate pain.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury caused by a sudden distortion of the neck. Whenever the neck is thrown out of its normal range, it results in ligaments, tendons, and muscles to be sore. Whiplash injuries are one of the most common injuries in nonfatal car accidents. Whiplash can occur at speeds of fifteen miles per hour or less. When a car is hit by another vehicle, it can cause the head to jolt in a direction that is not natural, causing sudden strain and muscle spasms in the neck and shoulder area. We at Mountain View Pain Center know the pain that this can cause you.
How Do I Know If I Have Whiplash?
Most often, the symptoms of whiplash are not instantaneous. Many times, the pain will not surface for several days. Those who suffer from whiplash complain of severe neck and shoulder soreness, tight muscles, and headaches. More severe cases of whiplash may cause nerve damage, ringing in the ears, and an obstruction of vision. Patients may also experience pain when attempting to rotate their neck and head in a normal fashion.
How Do I Treat Whiplash From A Car Accident?
After a car collision, patients can greatly benefit from seeking out the assistance of a chiropractor to reduce the level of pain and possible damage. We can discuss the type of accident and gather other important details so they can develop a proper treatment plan. Treatments will vary from person to person and is dependent on the type of injury. We may use a variety of therapies to treat an injury from whiplash. These therapies include spinal manipulation, electrotherapy, and cervical spine adjustments, among others. We may also want to take an x-ray of the neck to fully determine the severity of the injury.
How Do We Treat Inflammation Caused by Whiplash?
We may first want to deal with the inflammation caused by the injury. This is a gentle therapy that does not include hard thrusts or force. In order to prevent even more pain, the chiropractor may perform a series of soft tissue manipulation before moving on to cervical adjustments. Soft tissue manipulation can be done through the use of ultrasound, muscle stimulation, and soft tissue mobilization. Massage therapy is commonly used to both reduce inflammation and release endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers.
Spinal Manipulation and Electrotherapy
Once the inflammation begins to go away, we will begin utilizing very gentle spinal manipulation. These manipulations, also known as adjustments, are characterized by specific thrusts on different areas of the vertebrae in order to provide proper alignment. These adjustments can provide the patient with more neck function and restore their normal movement.
Electrotherapy is another positive method to treat whiplash. It involves the use of a very small battery unit and electrode applied to the injured areas. This electrotherapy unit is very discreet and comfortable to wear. It will send small electronic charges to the impacted areas of the neck and spine in order to reduce the pain. The electric energy bypasses and essentially blocks the pain signals to the brain.
The treatment plan for car accident victims will be different for everyone. Mountain View Pain Clinic will determine the diagnosis and treatment plan for the affected joints. There is no one-size-fits all way to treat whiplash. We will make a full assessment in order to best treat an injury. Chiropractic care offers the most non-invasive, natural way to treat this type of injury. Hopefully, with proper chiropractic care, those suffering from whiplash will resume their normal activities very quickly.