Whiplash typically refers to an injury to the neck. It may result from rear-end, side impact or front impact car accidents, but can also occur during diving or other mishaps. The impact to the neck may result in bony or soft tissue injuries creating a variety of signs and symptoms.
Anyone can be subjected to whiplash, even in a low impact car crash at speeds as low as 5 mph with no visible damage to the vehicle. Injuries associated with whiplash can also result from other accidents or trauma when the head is snapped or jerked. Whiplash most commonly causes serious and lingering neck pain, but there may also be back pain, numbness, tingling and dizziness. Concussions can occur also when the head is accelerated and decelerated very quickly. In this situation, bruising of the brain can occur without your head striking an object. The brain literally gets slammed inside the skull. This can occur in auto accidents and other types of severe trauma, some victims have experienced blurred vision, ringing in the ears, nausea and numbness.
Symptoms of whiplash
People involved in accidents involving trauma to their neck usually complain of pain and stiffness of the upper back and neck accompanied with symptoms such as dizziness/vertigo, ringing/buzzing in the ears, blurred vision and headaches.
Neck pain is often described by patients as being of an achy discomfort in the back of the neck radiating out over the upper shoulder muscles, down between the shoulder blades, up into the region just below the skull and/or down the arms. The deep aching discomfort is often associated with burning and stiffness and worse in the morning and evening.
As previously mentioned, symptoms of a brain trauma (i.e. Concussion), can range from mild to severe and include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, vision problems, hearing problems, forgetfulness and trouble concentrating.
Headache and whiplash
Headache is a common symptom from whiplash is usually from an injury to the upper neck joints, muscles and ligaments. The headaches usually begin within 24 hours of the injury.
The headache may be limited to the base of the skull or may spread to the top of the head, across the forehead or behind the eyes. Patients may describe the headache as a dull pressure or a squeezing sensation and includes pounding and throbbing components. Patients experience nausea or may vomit and be very sensitive to light.
Chiropractic treatment for whiplash is very effective in eliminating pain, stiffness, headaches, and dizziness or ringing/buzzing in ears caused by whiplash.
We always do a thorough history, physical exam (including an orthopaedic and neurological exam) prior to treatment. We will also determine if x-rays are necessary to rule out any fractures or severe soft tissue damage or nerve compromise. If your symptoms indicate, we may order CT scans or MRI’s of the neck or other body parts. And when necessary, we work with some of the top orthopedic specialists, neurologists, pain management specialists and physical therapists.
Chiropractic techniques and chiropractors’ skills are particularly well-suited to relieving the neck pain and other debilitating effects of whiplash because they can:
- restore proper movement lost after the accident
- overcome muscle weakness and spasm, thus enhancing muscle tone
- relieve pain and muscle stiffness
- relieve headaches caused by muscle tension and muscle injury
- speed recovery
- diminish chronic symptoms that can persist many years
Repeated and effective chiropractic adjustments have proven successful for several thousands of patients. The doctors at Advanced Chiropractic Specialists will, in most cases, significantly reduce patients’ pain and suffering therefore allowing them to return to their normal activities much faster.