Whiplash occurs when your head and neck are jolted forwards then snapped backwards violently as a result of sudden impact from behind.

This is very common during a car accident, where the occupant of a car is hit by another motorist from the rear with a lot force. Some severe sideways movements can also be a cause of whiplash injuries. It can cause damage to delicate tendons and ligaments, resulting in acute pain and other additional symptoms. Often overlooked as one of the smaller injuries, whiplash recovery time can be as extensive as 7 years and may take up to 2 years to stabilize.

What Are the Long Term Implications of Whiplash?

Mild whiplash as a result of a not-too-forceful bumper to bumper collision might result in headaches with pain in the neck and upper back.

A more severe accident can lead to severe pain and difficulty in moving the neck and head. Immediately after the accident the full force of whiplash may not be evident, but symptoms usually manifest fully after a period of 12 hours following the accident.

The pain and stiffness in the back can be accompanied by severe headaches, lower and upper back pain, impaired vision, and sleepless nights. In more serious cases, symptoms can last for months or they may never fully disappear.

Should symptoms persist for more than six months, then such a case may be termed as chronic whiplash. The best course of action to take in helping patients with lingering whiplash symptoms is chiropractic care.

How Does Chiropractic Care Help?

Chiropractic treatment for whiplash will depend on the severity of the injury, but it provides great options that are non-surgical. Even though you might go to a chiropractor complaining of neck pains, you will receive an entire spinal examination as well as other check-ups to determine specific areas that might be affected.

The chiropractor identifies any areas that have restricted joint motion, muscle spasms or intervertebral disc injury. Diagnostic techniques may be applied on you such as motion and static palpation to feel tenderness, tightness, and the general movement of your spinal joints.

Others things that the chiropractor is likely to do is to examine your walk and take note of your posture. In addition to these, it is likely that the chiropractor may have you take an X-ray or an MRI to determine if there were any degenerative changes that were existing before the whiplash injury.

The chiropractor will use the physical and neurological results in conjunction with the diagnostic images to develop the best non-surgical treatment plan.