Chiropractics: Treating Whiplash After a Car Accident
Whiplash is one of the most prevalent injuries after a car accident, and can be a challenging condition to treat. Even people who were involved in a fender-bender are advised to meet with a chiropractor for a potential whiplash injury, as all it takes is a change in 2MPH to injure the neck. And, whiplash injuries can happen due to car accidents that occur in any direction, whether that be rear-end, frontal, or side collisions.
Why Whiplash Happens
Whiplash can be sustained when the body is whipped forward and backward with such a force that the neck gets stretched beyond its normal limits, causing tiny tears in the surrounding ligaments. It isn’t uncommon for car accident victims to not feel the extent of their whiplash injury right away. Sometimes, due to the shock of the moment injuries are numbed until the person has had a chance to calm down. Most people won’t feel the pain until the morning after the accident. When these micro-tears in the neck ligaments begin to swell, these symptoms may be felt:
- Neck pain and tension
- Blurry vision
- Reduced range of motion
- Neck stiffness
- Arm pain
- Lower back pain
The Time It Takes to Heal
Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury that can take time to heal completely. In fact, one study found that around 3 in every 4 people who went to the emergency room due to a car accident still experienced pain a month and a half later. Additionally, other research suggests that 1 in every 4 people are still dealing with symptoms related to a whiplash injury six months down the line.
If a car accident victim doesn’t get care right away, their whiplash injury could cause complications for years. When healing beings for soft tissue damage, scar tissue can accumulate. And, if the impact pushed the spine out of alignment and mobility isn’t restored before scarring begins, it can impair normal functioning.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care
A chiropractor, like a chiropractor for a car accident injury is uniquely suited to treat whiplash in car accident victims because they learned how to care for neck and back injuries without the use of pharmaceuticals. By using drug-free approaches such as spinal adjustments, joint manipulation, massage, ultrasound therapy, electrical stimulation, and heat therapy, many patients can avoid undergoing surgery for whiplash damage. Here are examples of potential benefits that can result from chiropractic care:
- Pain Relief: Soft tissue injuries in particular can take several months to heal completely, and many car accident victims report a decrease in pain after only a few treatment sessions.
- Mobility/Range of Motion Restored: Stiffness and tenderness from the accident can prevent the body from moving with a full range of motion. Chiropractors can utilize chiropractic techniques to decrease inflammation and increase motion ability before scar tissue builds up.
- Healing for the Long-Term: After your whiplash injury heals, it can benefit you to continue receiving chiropractic care for minor aches and pains that can result by just going about your daily life.