Whiplash is described as an injury to the neck due to sudden rapid forward and backward motion resulting from trauma; which is car accident in most of the cases, but may also occur due to falls, sport related injuries or knock over head by a heavy object.
This sudden over-extension of the head and neck impacts the muscles and ligaments causing stretching and probable tearing of neck tissues. Whiplash may also involve tearing, bulging or rupture of the vertebral discs or may also cause vertebral dislocation. It may also affect the spinal cord and nerve roots passing through the space between vertebras, which may develop irritation or stretch or get pinched because of the reduced gap in between the vertebra.
Symptoms of Whiplash injuries
The most common presentation of whiplash injury is neck pain, which occurs immediately after injury or may take many hours or days before it sets in. Whiplash injuries usually present with following symptoms:
Treatment of whiplash injuries in conventional or mainstream medical system usually involves frequent icing of the neck, pain medications, wearing a neck collar or brace and surgery in more severe or complicated cases. But these pain medications have several adverse effects and they do not treat the cause of the pain. Similarly, there are other additional options like physiotherapy and Message therapy that help in reducing muscle spasms and pain . On the contrary chiropractor works on the principle of holistic healing and see the person as a whole and not only one painful part of the body, thus chiropractic carechiropractic care is an effective alternative treatment for whiplash injuries.
Treatment in chiropractic starts with diagnosis of the extent of the injury. First step is examination of the whole spine using Static or Motion Palpation(Touch Techniques) aimed to identify any restricted movement, ligament or intervertebral disc injury or muscle spasms. A chiropractor also inspects the gait, posture and spinal alignment to understand the body mechanics of the person and how it has been affected by whiplash injury. Chiropractor may take assistance of more advanced diagnostic techniques such as X-rays or MRI to see for any existing degenerative conditions of vertebra. In light of the results of these evaluations, chiropractor chalks out a Treatment plan for whiplash injury.
A chiropractor care plan in whiplash injuries usually comprises of two phases:
Various modalities used to decreases inflammation of neck muscles include:
In the later stage, chiropractor uses measures to treat the soft tissue injuries (muscles, ligaments) as well as vertebral joint injuries like subluxation and herniation of discs.
For soft tissue injuries,techniques used are termed together as Manual Therapy, which include:
Other techniques used are termed as Spinal Manipulation techniques, which include:
In addition, a chiropractor may also advice you exercises to ease the whiplash symptoms and to restore normal spinal movements.