Whiplash is an injury that is caused by a sudden backward or forward movement of the head. The sudden force stretches and tears the muscles and tendons in your neck. Intervertebral joints, ligaments and nerves of the neck may also be damaged, causing discomfort and pain. Many of us have probably experienced it as some point, whether from something as major as a car accident or as minor as a wrong movement during a workout.
The symptoms of whiplash can include:
- Pain, decreased range of motion, and tightness in the neck. Muscles can feel hard or knotted.
- Pain when moving head from side to side or backwards and forwards.
- Headaches at the base of the skull that move towards the forehead.
- Lower back pain.
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering.
There are a number of initial steps you can take if you are experiencing a minor case of whiplash. Ice your neck for 20-30 minutes at a time every couple of hours. The ice helps in reducing both the pain and swelling. Taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil or Aleve can result in the same effect. If you happen to have a neck brace or collar, wearing it for a short amount of time provides support and aids in healing.
If the whiplash pain persists, or if you are suffering from a more severe case, Renton chiropractic care may be the right solution for you. After the an accident, your body attempts to adapt to the injury, therefore some symptoms and pain may not appear until weeks or months later.
The type of chiropractic treatment necessary for whiplash differs from case to case, but often can include:
Manipulation or Alignment
Our Renton chiropractors use specific adjustments to help normalize your spine’s function, which can aid in minimizing inflammation and tissue damage. With spinal manipulation, the joint involved with the injury is gently moved in the direction in which it is restricted, eventually becoming more mobile.
Gentle stretches applied to areas of tension or pressure points can relieve much of the pain associated with whiplash. If the neck muscle is very tight, more vigorous stretching and aided pressure can further allow the muscles to relax and begin to heal.
At Petett Chiropractic, gym ball and tubing exercises are just a few of the ways our chiropractors bring mobility back to sprained neck muscles. Each exercise program is customized to each patient and their injury.
Whiplash is a very uncomfortable but common injury, and Renton Chiropractic Care provides a holistic approach to recovering. If you have recently experienced whiplash, don’t hesitate to give us a call to set up an appointment. We’ll get you feeling better in no time!