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Utilizing Chiropractic Care for Whiplash


If you have ever been in a serious car accident, you may have experienced whiplash. While the early onset of it may be delayed, it is important to know the symptoms and treatment options available.

Whiplash or a neck strain may occur during any type of activity that would cause an unexpected jerking motion of the head back or forward.

Symptoms of whiplash

The intensity of whiplash and the onset of symptoms will vary from person to person.

On average it will take around 24 to 48 hours for symptoms to arise after the initial incident has occurred.

The symptoms that may arise include:

  • Pain in the neck
  • Tightness in the neck
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck or back
  • Tenderness
  • Headaches that radiate to the forehead or back of the skull

Possibility of concussion

Depending on the type of activity you were involved in when you experienced whiplash, there may be a possibility of a concussion being present. For those that play contact sports, this is a serious issue and should be looked at immediately.

Symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Confusion
  • Amnesia about the event leading up to the impact

Chiropractic Treatment

Each individual will have their own set of treatment options based on their case of whiplash or neck strain. After being examined by your doctor or chiropractor, treatment options may include a variety of treatments that may help in increasing your range of motion and also with aiding in the painful symptoms associated with the accident or trauma.

Type of chiropractic treatments may include:

  • Muscle relaxation
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Manipulation
  • Range of motion exercises

The main point of chiropractic treatment is to help ease both the pain and restriction that the whiplash has caused.  The most common manipulation used for whiplash is Spinal manipulation. This type of treatment works toward moving the area of the body that has been injured, working towards getting a full range of motion over a period of time.

Other treatment options

If you are looking for something other than chiropractic treatment, there are a few home remedies that may be used in relaxing your muscles and gradually working up to a possible full range of motion of the injured area.

These options may include:

  • Icing the injured area: whether it is your back, neck or head area, icing will help with inflammation and allow you to move restricted areas without as much pain present.

  • Using a collar: after seeing a doctor, he or she may recommend that you use a neck collar to restrict your usage of certain motions, allowing for the healing process to begin.

  • Pain/anti-inflammatory medications- after speaking with your doctor, you may be advised to take either pain or anti-inflammatory medications to help in the healing process and to give some form of relief. 


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Laura D'Alessandro

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