Whiplash injuries occur when the neck is suddenly thrust forward, backward, or to the side. Such injuries can occur in athletes when they’re practicing or playing their sport, they can occur when kids or adults are wrestling, they can occur in car accidents, and even when someone falls. Anytime the neck muscles are strained, it’s considered to be a form of whiplash. At the first sign of whiplash, doctors recommend taking it easy and using ice on sore muscles. If this doesn’t seem to be easing the symptoms after a day or so, it’s time to visit your chiropractor.
Neck strain may be felt immediately, or it may take a few hours to a few days to begin to feel the pain after an injury. There are many different treatments for neck pain and whiplash. Each injury is different and will require slightly different forms of treatment. What works for one person’s whiplash injury may not work at all for another person’s whiplash injury. For this reason, it’s important to seek out a professional such as a chiropractor to help treat a whiplash injury.
A chiropractor will design an individualized treatment plan for the patient that will factor in the amount of damage that has been done due to the injury, how the injury occurred, and the amount of pain that the patient is in. A chiropractor will do a full medical assessment on the injury and determine the best course of action. A chiropractor may use several different treatment methods depending on the particular person and the severity of their injury.
A chiropractor may use one or more methods to treat a patient with a whiplash injury. Not all treatments may be used on each injury. It will be dependent on the severity of the injury and how the particular patient responds to the treatments that are given. If a patient needs to be referred to a regular doctor for pain medication or other forms of treatment the chiropractor will give the patient a referral to another professional.
At the start of an injury, the doctor may suggest that the person apply ice for about twenty minutes. After twenty minutes the doctor will have the person stop the ice for a while and then reapply it for the first few days. After about 24 hours the doctor may have the patient use ice and alternate with heat. This helps to soothe and ease the pain and often works very well for treating a whiplash injury.
Manipulation is another form of treatment that a chiropractor may choose to use. The chiropractor will assess the patient and may manipulate their spine back into alignment. This will take some time and it won’t happen in the first treatment. Typically, it will take a few treatments each week until the body adjusts and maintains the position of the spine. The doctor will have the patient lie on the table or a specific piece of equipment and gently adjust the spine on the patient.
Sometimes, rest is all that is needed for an injury. Moving gently and not making any sudden moves may help to reduce or alleviate any pain and the body will have time to heal. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations on rest, ice, and heat for any injury.
Occasionally, a chiropractor will refer a patient to a massage therapist for treatment from whiplash. The massage therapist will work on the muscles in the neck and shoulders to help reduce and treat the pain. The massage may hurt some however most patients find relief after just a few treatments.
The chiropractor will help the patient to do some gentle stretches and gently stretch out the sore muscles. The chiropractor may start with a hands-on approach and also use some pressure points to help ease the pain and adjust the spine back into the proper position to help relieve the pain from the whiplash injury. By gently pressing on the pressure points the muscles will be relieved of the pain and begin to heal. The chiropractor will help the patient begin to do the stretches on their own so that they can continue the stretches at home.
As the person begins to heal the chiropractor will teach them some specifically designed exercises that will help to alleviate any residual pain from their injury. The patient will use these exercises daily and begin to strengthen their back and prevent any further injury. By incorporating these exercises into their daily routine they will begin to find relief from the pain. Even a walk will help to keep the spine properly aligned and relieve some of the pain.
By learning how to properly sit, stand, and walk, a person can begin making lifestyle changes that will help them reduce back pain in the future and reduce any possible whiplash. It’s important to learn to sit and stand properly and keep the back in proper alignment with the hips and shoulders. It will also help to make sure to sit in specifically styled furnishings over other kinds of furnishings. By making these simple lifestyle and ergonomic changes a person can often help to reduce any back or neck pain at all and if they’ve ever suffered from a whiplash injury it can help them to maintain their recovery.
Understanding how chiropractors treat whiplash injuries will help you to be more prepared for your treatment. Many patients find that it only takes a few treatments to begin to recover from their injuries. Chiropractors are licensed medical professionals that treat the whole body by treating the spine and structure of the person’s body. The goal is to relieve pain. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive method of treating the body and helping a person to find relief for many conditions including whiplash regardless of how the whiplash injury occurred. Whiplash can happen unexpectedly and it’s not always from a car wreck.