Whiplash is almost always the result of a collision of one vehicle with another or with a stationary object. During the collision the head and neck go through violent and excessive movements, exceeding the normal capabilities of both bony and soft tissue structures that support the head. Mostly these movements are forwards and backwards, but may also include lateral bending and rotational components. When muscles and ligaments exceed their normal stretching abilities they may be overstretched or lacerated, giving rise to many symptoms associated with this type of injury.
The intervertebral discs between the vertebrae may swell, shear or rupture giving rise to disc herniation. The damage to the ligaments may cause instability or immobility of the vertebral column. The nerve roots may be damaged through compressive or tensile stresses, causing classic symptoms of nerve impingement. Examination of cervical x-rays often shows the classic loss of normal cervical curvature called lordosis. This may be evident after any trauma to the head or neck, but usually is more marked after a car accident.
The instability or immobility that follows whiplash injury may cause headache, vertigo, blurred vision or other visual disturbances, pain, numbness or pins and needles on shoulders, neck, arms and hands. You may also experience stiffness of the neck, thoracic area all the way down to lumbar area.
The chiropractic approach to this type of injury consists of a course of specific and gentle manipulative techniques to the vertebrae, designed to help return the normal function of the vertebral column. These techniques will also help the ligaments and the muscles to heal faster. We will advise you to have these treatments only after careful examination and case history of your whiplash injury. After taking x-rays or MRI, we will take you through comprehensive and safe therapy that will speed your recovery and help you get back to a normal life.
We have special gentle techniques which are suitable for elderly patients, children or patients with extreme pain. If you have suffered a whiplash injury recently or even a long time a go and find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms, please give us a call and we will be happy to give you advice and help you to recover fast.