What is whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury to the neck due to a sudden distortion or extension of the neck, when the neck experiences a sudden cervical (neck) acceleration-deceleration motion.
It is usually the result of a rear impact while in a stationary position and is most often associated with being hit from behind in a motor vehicle. However, a whiplash injury can also occur from horses, bicycles, falling from a higher level such as a stool, or a baby who is shaken.
While it is not a life threatening injury, it can lead to a prolonged period of partial disability if not treated quickly and effectively.
Short term effects and symptoms
Whiplash is a relatively common injury; however, it is often ignored or neglected due to lack of understanding of the condition.
While some symptoms can occur immediately after the injury, some symptoms are often are not felt until days later. The most common effects of whiplash are pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders and back, headaches, pain and weakness in the arm, dizziness, fatigue.
Long term effects and symptoms
In more severe whiplash cases, long term effects and symptoms can include stress, frustration, anger, sleep difficulties, social withdrawal, and even drug dependency. If not properly educated and treated, whiplash patients may even develop more chronic symptoms such as depression and anxiety.
What can chiropractor do to help?
According to the Québec Task Force (QTF) who studies whiplash-associated disorders, treatment for individuals with whiplash should include:
Manipulation – Spinal adjustments and manipulation increases blood circulation to the injured muscles as well as aligns the neck and spine appropriately to reduce inflammation in the vertebrae, discs, joints, tendons and muscles to allow for proper healing. Frequent manipulations in a short time after an injury help keeps relieve stiffness of muscles that tighten around the injury and promotes flexibility to aid in increased range of motion.
Mobilizations – Early use of range of motion exercises have a more rapid recovery than extended use of immobilization or use of a cervical collar.
Immobilizations – Neck traction or a neck brace if prescribed. However, new research shows that immobilization causes muscle atrophy (muscle wasting) as well as decreased blood flow and healing of injured muscles.
Supplemental heat – application may relieve muscle tension
Range of motion exercises – Patients who use range of motion exercises as soon as symptoms allow, usually within 1-4 days, improve and recover at a more rapid rate.
Physical therapy – can be helpful to help strengthen muscles and reduce injured and painful motions and to help a patient discontinue use from a neck collar.
For a professional consultation for a whiplash or other injury, contact Baker Chiropractic and Accident Rehabilitation. Call our office in Provo Utah at 801-210-0669 and speak with Dr. Baker, our resident Provo chiropractor.
About Our Provo Chiropractic Clinic:
Our Provo chiropractor uses the latest chiropractic techniques, auto accident treatment and rehabilitation, acupuncture, chiropractic physical therapy, and massage therapy to provide excellent results for individuals of all ages that have been injured in an auto accident, whiplash, sports injury, office injury, exercise injury, surgery, and more.
Chiropractor Near Me and in My Provo, Utah Area:
Our injury chiropractic center is located in Provo, Utah (2255 N University Pkwy 20 Provo, UT 84604), just a short drive from Orem, Pleasant Grove, Lindon, Springville, and Spanish Fork, Utah.