Can a Chiropractor help with a whiplash injury?
Whiplash injury is really an acceleration/deceleration accident that involves a complex of potential symptoms that can follow not only from a car accident but any time that the head and neck are involved in a sudden impact that strains the tissues of the neck and causes neck pain.
Do You Have Whiplash?
The symptoms of whiplash may include neck pain, tenderness and stiffness, headache, dizziness, nausea, shoulder and/or arm pain, parasthesias (numbness/tingling), blurred vision, and in rare cases difficulty swallowing. Symptoms may appear as quickly as two hours following injury.
The symptoms usually result from injury to the neck’s soft tissues – muscles, ligaments or joint capsule. Muscle tears characteristically present with burning pain accompanied by tingling sensations. Ligaments affected by excessive joint movement can cause muscles to defensively tighten limiting motion. Joint irritation can lead to nerves being irritated (yellow nerves left – you can see they are close to the joints at the back on the neck on the skeleton) which can give you pain, numbness or pins and needles in the shoulder area, arm, hand or head.
Age and arthritis may increase the severity of whiplash. As people age, their range of motion declines, muscles lose flexibility and strength, and intervertebral disc and ligaments lose some of their elasticity so can cope less with sudden movement.
What can we do to help?
Whatever your symptoms, it makes sense to consult the Chiropractors in Southampton at the Avenue Clinic as soon as possible after any kind of acceleration/deceleration injury so that your condition can be examined carefully to assess the degree of injury. It may be that you require x-rays prior to any manual treatment and then if appropriate a course of treatment may help to reduce inflammation and pain quicker than just taking painkillers and resting. We may mobilise or manipulate the area, give you exercises and advice to aid your recovery. We will discuss the treatment options with you after we have examined you thoroughly.
The quicker you move properly again, the less strength you lose and thus you may avoid developing a more long term problem.
What can you do for yourself?
Acceleration/deceleration injuries often overstretch the ligaments holding joints together and these overstretched tissues will not regain their original length. It is therefore very important to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints in order to promote stability.
All Chiropractors at the Avenue Clinic, Southampton are trained to show you the most appropriate exercises to help you to recover from neck pain from a whiplash injury.