Whiplash injuries are difficult to treat for many reasons. Complex interactions of psychosocial, legal and physical factors make effective treatment highly variable. However, there are many therapeutic options available to help whiplash related injuries. Initial treatment traditionally includes a soft cervical collar to restrict cervical range of motion and prevent further injury. Overall rest and motion restriction may hinder progress in the long run, so it is best to seek out professional help in resolving symptoms. That's where your chiropractor comes in. Call Patrick Chiropractic at (919) 790-2288 to schedule an appointment and discuss your treatment options!
Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash Injuries:
Chiropractors are the single largest group of practitioners treating whiplash injuries, and they do it well
: For example, one study found chiropractors were effective at relieving whiplash pain more than 90 percent of the time. Chiropractic care focuses on relieving soft- tissue spasm, inflammation and pain by restoring proper motion in the spinal column. Due to the force impact of whiplash, the spinal column can misalign and cause pain. By performing manipulation to the spinal column, chiropractic can help restore normal function and movement to the affected areas.
Depending on their treatment style and your specific case, your chiropractor may decide to utilize additional treatment options in addition to chiropractic, either in their office or via a referral. Here are some of those potential treatments, all with the single goal of relieving your pain and managing your whiplash symptoms in the most effective way possible – and without requiring pain-relief medications, which are perhaps the most common "treatment" option for whiplash sufferers, despite the fact that they provide only short-term relief and may create more problems than solutions in terms of the potential side effects.
An ancient system of healing developed over thousands of years in Eastern countries such as China, acupuncture is a treatment in which fine needles are applied to specific acupuncture points in order to relieve symptoms of both physical and psychological conditions. Acupuncture has proved to be a particularly effective in relieving the neck pain and other symptoms associated with whiplash injuries. In some cases, acupuncture has helped in the treatment of whiplash patients suffering long-term symptoms where conventional approaches showed little improvement.
Massage is one of the most effective therapies for releasing muscle tension and restoring balance to the musculoskeletal system. Massage therapy can help relax the muscles, increase and maintain range of motion, decrease stress and tension, increase circulation, and prevent and break down scar-tissue formation. Ideally, therapy should start as soon as the acute, inflammatory phase is over (about 72 hours after the injury). A massage technique called cross-fiber friction can be used to encourage the body to lay down the connective tissue in the same direction as the originally damaged tissue. This proper alignment causes smaller amounts of the connective tissue to be needed and allows for a fuller range of motion upon recovery.
Recovering From Whiplash: Key Action Steps
If you or someone you know is suffering from whiplash, here are some action steps to take:
- Schedule an appointment with Dr. Patrick, who can evaluate the severity of your condition and get you on the road to recovery immediately. He will likely recommend some or all of the following:
- For at least 2-3 weeks, avoid activities that bring on or worsen your pain and stiffness.
- Don't lift or carry anything heavy or participate in sports.
- Do not sit for long periods of time.
- Use an orthopedic head support pillow while sleeping.
- If possible, stay active by taking short walks.
- If you have pain when you move your head or the pain involves your shoulders or arms, he may recommend a soft neck collar or a natural pain reliever.
While recovering and under care, contact Patrick Chiropractic at (919) 790-2288 if any of the following occurs:
- Neck pain and stiffness return after they initially went away.
- Neck pain is so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.
- The pain spreads to your shoulders or arms.
- You have numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms or legs.
- You have problems with your bladder or bowels.
- Headaches become severe and do not resolve.
Article information retrieved from http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=1424&pagenumber=4