Been in a motor vehicle accident, played contact sports, fallen off your bike, been hit in the head by a basketball, fallen while skiing, slipped over on a slippery pathway?
If this has happened to you, then you most probably will have suffered a whiplash injury to your neck. In fact whiplash is one of the most common and neglected injuries we suffer from.
What is Whiplash?
Approximately 70% of people involved in a motor vehicle accident will develop neck pain. Typically the pain will be felt within 2-3 days and may remain for months or it may subside over the next week. If the pain does subside it doesn’t mean you are back to your pre-accident status, it means you just don’t have the pain. The most damaging aspect of whiplash is the loss of function in the spinal joints which without the appropriate treatment can degenerate and decay at a far quicker rate than the normal rate of wear and tear.
Unfortunately many people deem themselves cured when the pain goes, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The sad statistic is 80% of people that have a car accident at a speed of greater than 40km/hr still suffer from neck pain and symptoms 10 years after the accident.
What this indicates is the importance of receiving the correct treatment and advice after a whiplash injury. Whiplash injuries don’t just occur after a car accident they occur whenever there is a sharp jolt to the neck.
The symptoms for whiplash can be many and varied.
- Neck pain
- Reduced movement
- Pins and needles in the arms
- Shoulder restriction
- Muscle pain
- Dizziness, blurred vision
- Pain when swallowing
- Poor concentration
- Painful movement
- Head seems too heavy
How we can help!
Our team at Somerville Chiropractic are experienced in managing whiplash injuries. We will use a number of assessments and diagnostic tests to determine the extent of the injuries including the use of X-Ray, CT scan and MRI. This will enable us to make the right clinical decisions about the best way to manage your problems.
Initially we will address the pain and inflammation side of the injury to make you as comfortable as possible as soon as possible. As your pain decreases we will then use massage and very specific Chiropractic adjustments to help to improve the function of the damaged spinal joints and decrease the nerve pressure associated with such dysfunction. Active engagement of the muscles in and around the neck region is also extremely important to maximize your recovery.
Whiplash responds extremely well to correct Chiropractic treatment. The key is to begin care as soon as possible after the whiplash incident.
Are there things I should be avoiding if I do have whiplash?
Whiplash like all other spinal joint problems requires movement to heal. So we always advocate actively working the muscles to improve range of movement and muscle strength. Avoiding poor postures and poor sleeping positions is very important to enable the healing to occur as quick as the laws of physiology allow. Diet, positive mental attitude and willingness to adhere to the management plan achieves the best results every time for every body.