Frequently Asked Questions about Whiplash Injuries
Occupants of vehicles struck on the side or from behind by another vehicle often suffer nerve damage and tearing of neck tissues when the head and neck are suddenly and forcefully whipped forward then backward. People experiencing whiplash don't always feel pain after the accident. Instead, pain from whiplash injuries emerge later and involve extreme neck stiffness, headache, dizziness and burning/tingling sensations around the neck area. Whiplash can also cause insomnia, memory problems, sore throat, difficulty concentrating and neck/shoulder muscle spasms.
What is Whiplash?
Cervical acceleration-deceleration disorder (CAD) or whiplash, refers to an injury to the neck and upper back incurred by slow to moderate speed auto accidents. Whiplash happens when a spinal ligament called the anterior longitudinal ligament is stretched as the head whips forward and immediately backward at the moment of impact.
What Kind of Whiplash Treatment is Available at Cornerstone Chiropractic?
Chiropractic techniques used to alleviate symptoms of whiplash injuries include massage therapy and spinal/extremity adjustments. By stimulating your body's ability to heal itself naturally through adjustments, chiropractors improve central nervous system functioning by restoring alignment to the spine and eliminating nerve compression. Realigning upper cervical vertebrae jolted out of place by a car accident also promotes blood flow to soft tissues affected by whiplash while relieving pressure on discs and nerves responsible for the optimal functioning of your spine.
Why Is It Important to Get Whiplash Treatment as Soon as Possible?
Unless chiropractic treatment begins within 24 to 48 hours after an auto accident, soft tissues damaged by excessive g-forces occurring at the time of the impact suffer increasing inflammation, swelling, and pain. Severe neck pain and stiffness, headaches and even chest pain that may feel like a heart attack are other symptoms of untreated whiplash injuries.
How Does Massage Therapy Treat Whiplash?
An effective whiplash treatment is a deep-tissue massage, a popular chiropractic technique used for increasing blood circulation, stimulating the release of naturally analgesic chemicals called endorphins and easing muscle tension. Massage therapy is an integral part of any whiplash treatment plan and is also recommended by chiropractors for all other types of musculoskeletal injuries resulting from auto accidents.
What is the Recovery Time for Whiplash?
Recovering from whiplash varies, depending on the severity of the whiplash, health of the person at the time of the accident and other factors that will be explained during your appointment with your chiropractor. However, getting chiropractic whiplash treatment as soon as possible may significantly shorten your recovery time.
Is Whiplash Preventable?
You may reduce your risk of suffering whiplash if your head restraint is properly positioned. Experts say the top of a driver's seat restraint should be as high as the tips of the ears and less than four inches from the back of the head. This may help stabilize your head and neck if another vehicle hits you from behind.
Schedule an appointment with your Everett chiropractor today to start your personalized whiplash treatment program by calling (425) 379-6301.