Commonly associated with auto accidents, whiplash, or neck sprain, is a very common injury to the soft tissues of the neck and generally occurs when a sudden and severe forward and backward movement of the structures of the neck changes the curve of the upper back and neck. But there is more to be considered with the diagnosis and treatment of whiplash.
The most prevalent symptom of whiplash is pain in the upper back and/ or neck. The pain can begin immediately or take several days, weeks or longer to develop. Spasms and tightness are very common and sometimes additional symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, burning or tingling sensations and shoulder pain may also occur. The severity of the pain differs from patient to patient but any pain that persists should be addressed by a doctor.
Chiropractic care is extremely beneficial for patients suffering from whiplash as it can help return proper mechanics to the cervical spine. Using an individualized approach for each patient, the doctor will begin by learning the patient’s history and conducting an exam utilizing tests to determine the mechanics of the injury, the primary tissues affected and the best treatment approach.
While there are many chiropractic treatments available for patients with whiplash, perhaps the most important part of any treatment plan begins with the initial examination. Because of the nature of the movement that causes whiplash, it is imperative that a doctor performs a thorough exam, looking for not only neck strain but also the possibility of injuries such as coup counter coup, or when the brain bounces on the inside of the skull. This can cause mild traumatic brain injury, which if left untreated can lead to headaches or even depression down the road.
As each patient’s needs are unique, treatments will vary and many times, exercise can play an important role in the treatment of whiplash and should be started as soon as possible, keeping in mind that recommended exercises, if helpful, will be case specific. The benefits of exercise in cases of whiplash include increasing range of motion, strengthening the injured region and restoring sensory-motor activity to the muscles. Some changes to lifestyle including ergonomic modifications to workstations, etc… may also be necessary to avoid irritating the injury.
When considering treatment options for whiplash or any number of other conditions, keep in mind that attention to detail in each patient’s case is of the utmost importance. Each case is unique and Dr. Ellis’ combined approach of assessing each individual patients’ needs and providing them with personalized treatment options is an effective and rare approach leading to optimal results in the shortest time, free of drugs and surgeries. You can find more information throughout our website on safe, effective and non-invasive treatment options. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment to review your case.