Whiplash? Chiropractic to the Rescue!
By Krista Elliott
The neck is a marvel of nature, when you really think about it. The lean and graceful muscles surrounding the complex structures of the esophagus and trachea, the all-important thyroid gland, the powerful veins and arteries, and the spine and surrounding network of nerves. The neck is the vital messenger between your brain and the rest of your body, and when it is in optimal condition, it smoothly carries blood, air, food, and information to wherever it is needed. When your neck is damaged, however, the repercussions can be far-reaching.
One common source of damage to the neck is whiplash. Whiplash is another term for neck strain, and is caused by any sudden force that makes your head "whip" back and forth. It's usually associated with car accidents (like being rear-ended at a stoplight), but can also happen during contact sports like football or on amusement park rides like rollercoasters. The violent motion of your head causes the muscles and tendons in your neck to be stretched or even torn. It can also cause damage to nerves and vertebrae, and can cause herniated discs.
What are the Symptoms?
Common symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, tenderness, and headache. If suffering from whiplash, you may also experience loss of range of motion, pins and needles, or numbness in the neck or limbs. This can be caused by the swelling of your neck muscles pressing upon the nerves, stretched nerves from the initial strain, or by subluxations in the spine.
What Should I Do?
If you experience neck pain after an accident or vigorous activity, the best first step is to visit your primary health care practitioner to ensure that nothing severe has happened to your neck. You may be sent for X-rays or ultrasound to determine the nature of the damage. You may need to wear a cervical collar for a few days to help support any weakened muscles during their initial healing.
Chiropractic treatment, such as the customized treatment you get from the professionals at The Joint Chiropractic, can go a long way toward helping you recover from whiplash and its symptoms. With gentle and pinpointed adjustments, chiropractic treatment can help:
- Relieve neck and back pain
- Reduce pressure on damaged nerves or herniated discs
- Speed your healing time
- Improve your mobility and flexibilty
- Treat your whiplash naturally and without drugs
Chiropractic treatment, in combination with at-home treatment like application of heat to improve flexibility and gentle neck strengthening exercises, can help toward making you feel better, faster.
Whiplash is a pain in the neck, both figuratively and literally. But with help from The Joint, it can be something that before too long, is in your rearview mirror as you speed away toward a neck that's pain-free and healthy.