Each year, almost 2 million Americans are injured and suffer from whiplash. Not only can you experience whiplash from motor vehicle accidents, but also from sports and falls.
The medical term for whiplash is a sprain/strain injury or a hyper flexion/hyper extension injury. Hyper flexion is when your head is thrown forward beyond its normal limits and hyper extension is when your head is thrown backward beyond its normal limits. When an injury like this occurs the muscles and ligaments in the neck are stretched and even torn. The bones in the neck, called vertebrae, can be misaligned, causing decreased range of motion. You can also sustain injury to the discs, the soft cushions which lay between the vertebrae in your neck, causing them to bulge, tear or rupture.
Most people feel the sudden effects of whiplash, although it can take days and weeks to develop. Some basic symptoms of whiplash include: neck pain and/or stiffness, dizziness, pain between the shoulder blades, headache, numbness and tingling, pain in the arms or legs, low back pain and fatigue. If not taken care of, whiplash can cause accelerated degenerative process in the spine such as osteoarthritis and disc degeneration.
Chiropractors can identify spinal whiplash through consultation, examination, x-ray and mri. Chiropractic care can help you cope with whiplash because it can help return proper mechanics to the cervical spine. Most of the time electric muscle stimulation, ultrasound and hot/ice packs are also used in Chiropractic offices to help reduce pain and inflammation caused by whiplash injuries. Manual therapies such as massage and trigger point therapy are also incoproated to alleviate muscle tension.
If you or someone you know may have experienced any or all of symptom described, then you may want to share this information with them or give our office at Élan Wellness Center a call at (813) 855-0001 to make an appointment.
Dr. Christine Rogers, Chiropractic Physician