Whether you are in an auto accident, involved in a ski accident on the slopes or you got tangled in your dog leash, those incidences and more can cause whiplash. Whiplash is not a medical term most doctors diagnose with; However, neck strain or sprain is usually the diagnosis, these injuries if not treated when it happens, can become a long term problem.
"Whiplash" is an accurate description of the whipping motion that occurs in the neck during a sudden head movement. When the head and neck are forcible whipped forward (hyper-flexion) and/or forcible whipped back (hyper extension) damage to the soft tissue, muscles, ligaments and tendons happens. In severe cases the vertebra, disks and nerves can be affected as well.
The symptoms of whiplash can show up right after the event that caused it, or in many cases they will creep in a few days after and can progressively intensify. Don't ignore any of the following symptoms no matter how mild they may appear to be at the time:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Pain in between the shoulder blades
- Numbness or pain in the extremities, you may also feel it in the lower back
- Jaw pain that might be caused by the clenching of the teeth that happens at the time of the impact
There are many different types of treatment available, include but not limited to Massage therapy, Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Physical therapy all can help restore the tissues to their normal state, combining those interventions will help speed up the healing process. In the following paragraphs I am going to explore how each of those interventions can help in a whiplash situation.
Any time a medical massage is performed on the body it improves blood circulation, decreases tension, improves range of motion and minimizes pain improving the individuals overall well being.
The manipulations of a chiropractor are geared to restore function and stability of the spine. By using hands on manipulations and other alternative treatments the chiropractor can align body's musculoskeletal structure that will enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medications.
Physical therapy works well when combined with massage and chiropractic care as an effective treatment for whiplash. Your therapist may give you exercises or stretches to restore mobility and function to the injured area which in term works greatly with other interventions.
Acupuncture is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture consists of needles that are inserted in different points along the meridian lines to restore the flow of "qi" or energy. Reliving pain and restoring range of motion.
Combing different interventions is a great way to enhance healing and speed recovery time. The overall goal of treatment is to get the patient back to their normal activities without pain and discomfort.