Whiplash: Symptoms and Treatment
In the United States, over 2 million people suffer from whiplash injuries each year.
Typically associated with car accidents, whiplash can actually occur with any impact or blow that causes your head to jerk forward or backward.
This jerking motion strains the neck and the sudden force can injure bones in the spine, disks between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and other tissues in the neck.
Most people who experience whiplash recover within a few months. However, some people are impacted by the injury for several months or years.
Acting quickly when dealing with a whiplash injury helps speed up the healing process and reduces overall pain and swelling. Do not delay!
Studies show that the sooner someone visits a doctor after the injury, the shorter their recovery time. We highly recommend scheduling an appointment with the chiropractic within 24 hours of the accident!
What Causes Whiplash
When the head jerks beyond its usual range of motion, it pulls muscles and ligaments and causes their fibers to tear.
Any time a fiber is torn in a muscle or tendon, it’s called a strain. It this occurs in a ligament, it’s called a sprain. Whiplash usually involves both a strain and sprain. In extreme cases, it may also include fractures or dislocations.
This type of injury may result from auto accidents, a sudden blow to the head during sports or an altercation, a fall which causes the head to jolt backwards.
In order to treat whiplash promptly and effectively, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your chiropractor as soon as possible after the accident. Within 24 hours is best!
Symptoms of whiplash usually present themselves within 24 hours of the accident, but typically show up within the first 6-12 hours! If left untreated, symptoms only worsen in the days following the injury.
Common symptoms of whiplash include: neck pain, dizziness, stiffness, headaches, pain with neck movement, tenderness in the upper back/shoulders/arms, fatigue, and tingling or numbness in the arms.
Less common symptoms include: lower back pain, muscle spasms, jaw pain, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, difficulty sleeping, irritability, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.
Symptoms associated with whiplash are often made worse by sustained postures such as reading, driving, sitting at a computer, using a cell phone, or watching TV.
If you are currently experiencing any of these symptoms following an accident, please contact our offices today at (810) 588-4036 or email us at info(at)purechiropractor.com.
5 Natural Treatments for Whiplash
1. Chiropractic Adjustments. Spinal adjustments done by a doctor of chiropractic will help restore normal joint movement and function in your neck.
By treating the subluxations in your spine, Dr. Hohn can treat your whiplash pain at its source.
This will decrease your recovery time and restore function to your nerves quickly, allowing your body to recover faster.
Chiropractic adjustments can reduce your pain levels and help you feel better faster!
2. Massage. In combination with chiropractic care, massage can be a beneficial treatment for whiplash injuries.
A massage by a trained therapist can help relieve pain and discomfort associated with whiplash. There are 3 types of massage are often used for whiplash treatment.
The first type of massage is called myofascial release. Myofascial release techniques help loosen restricted neck muscles and fascia to improve range of motion that often decreases with whiplash.
The second type of massage is called static compression. Applying static compression to the affected trigger points increases oxygen flow to the impacted muscles. This increased flow of oxygen helps muscles heal faster.
The third type of massage is called deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage helps release deep fascia, adhesions, and scar tissue that may occur with a whiplash injury. This type of massage will help free up tissue that has tightened around local nerves in the neck and back.
Make sure to tell the massage therapist your pain level before receiving any type of treatment!
3. Essential oils. Essential oils are a great way to naturally treat muscle soreness in whiplash injuries.
Try applying just a few drops of oil to the affected area and gently massage the oils into the skin. Try the following essential oils to help with your whiplash pain:
Wintergreen oil. Wintergreen oils serves as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic agent. It provides a warm sensation to the tender area and helps increase circulation in the damaged areas.
Blue tansy oil. Blue tansy oil has pain relieving properties and works as an anti-inflammatory.
Camphor oil. Camphor oil works as a natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. Apply a few drops to the sore areas and relax.
Marjoram oil. Marjoram oil works to decrease muscle spasms by relaxing the muscles. It also increases blood circulation, allowing the muscles to get the nutrients they need to heal.
Lavender oil. Lavender oil helps relax tense muscles and improve blood flow. It also helps lower stress levels, aiding in both physical and mental recovery from whiplash.
4. Ice and Heat. Applying ice to the neck and shoulders after an accident will help reduce swelling and pain. Apply ice for 20 minutes at a time. You can do this every hour if needed for the first 48 to 72 hours after the accident.
After that, apply heat in the same intervals to help relax the muscles and restore range of motion to the affected areas.
5. Exercises. There are several exercises one can do to help recover from a whiplash injury. Try these simple exercises to help your injuries heal faster and to regain normal range of motion.
Ear to Shoulder: Stand up straight and look straight ahead. Try to touch your ear to your shoulder. Repeat on the other side. Be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed as you do this movement.
Shoulder Look: While standing up straight and looking forward, turn your head and try to look over each shoulder in turn.
Ceiling Stretch: Look up toward the ceiling as if you’re trying to point your chin to the ceiling. Next look down while tucking your chin to your chest.
Shoulder Shrug: Shrug your shoulders while breathing in and then relax them while breathing out. This will stretch your shoulder muscles and relax your neck. If you’re able, roll you shoulders as you do this stretch.
Arm Circles: Circle your arms, one at a time, like you’re doing the backstroke. This will help restore range of motion while loosening your muscles.
If you have experienced an injury and believe you are suffering from whiplash, call Pure Chiropractic today to schedule your appointment! (810) 588-4036
Our doctors will help properly diagnose and identify the source of your pain. Next, they will help establish a treatment plan that will aid in your recovery. No one should have to live with the long-term effects of whiplash.
Drs. Chris and Krystal Hohn want each patient to experience their best life. Suffering from whiplash makes it difficult to function. It’s time to trust them with your whiplash treatment, as well as the rest of your chiropractic needs.
Their expertise and awareness of the body will help you live your best life, one adjustment at a time.