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Whiplash is a neck injury due to rapid forward and backward motion of the neck muscles resulting from sharp trauma (such as a car accident). Whiplash can result in both acute neck pain along with restricted neck mobility. Chiropractic adjustment is one of the most common treatments for whiplash injuries. Read on to learn more about how chiropractic care can treat whiplash.
How Chiropractors Diagnose Whiplash Injuries
When diagnosing whiplash, the chiropractor comprehensively assesses your spine (even if you’re just visiting complaining about neck pain after trauma). They will evaluate the entire spine since other areas of the spine- not just your neck- may be impacted. The chiropractor pinpoints any regions of reduced joint motion, muscle spasm, intervertebral disc injury, and ligament injury. They may also employ a technique known as motion and static palpation, or other techniques that involve touch. Your chiropractor may also check for tightness, tenderness, and the ability of your spinal joints to move correctly.
They will also evaluate your walk to note your spinal alignment and posture. Such details assist the chiropractor with understanding your body’s mechanics and the way your spine works for the diagnostic process. There may also be an X-ray or MRI of the spine to find any degenerative changes prior to the whiplash injury. The results of your physical evaluation and your diagnostic images are compared to formulate an optimal treatment plan for your condition.
Whiplash Treatment Stages
The acute phase of whiplash is shortly after it occurs, where the chiropractor will work on reducing neck inflammation through therapy modalities like ultrasound. They may also employ manual therapy techniques and gentle therapy like muscle energy therapy. You may be recommended to ice your neck or use a light neck support for a short period. As the pain in your neck decreases along with the inflammation, your chiropractor may utilize chiropractic techniques like spinal manipulation to restore normal motion to the facet joints of your neck.
Chiropractic Treatments For Whiplash
The treatment plan your chiropractor recommends is contingent on how severe your whiplash injury is. Spinal manipulation is the most commonly used chiropractic technique, and typical spinal manipulation techniques include:
- Instrument-assisted manipulation: This technique involves the chiropractor using a specialized hand-held instrument to apply force without thrusting into the spine. This kind of manipulation is great for older patients with a degenerative joint syndrome.
- Flexion-distraction technique: Like the above technique, this is also a nono-thrusting, gentle kind of spinal manipulation employed to treat herniated discs with or without arm pain. Your whiplash injury potentially may have exasperated a herniated or bulging disc, so the chiropractor slowly pumps the disc rather than applying direct force to the spine.
- Specific spinal manipulation: The chiropractor identifies spinal joints with restricted or abnormal motion, known as subluxations. This technique helps restore motion to the affected joint through a gentle thrusting technique, which stretches soft tissue and stimulates the nervous system to restore the spine to its normal motion.
Other techniques your chiropractor may employ along with spinal manipulation include manual joint stretching, instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy, trigger point therapy, and therapeutic massage, along with further therapies to reduce neck inflammation from whiplash.
Contact Us Today
If you have whiplash, chiropractic care can help. Call Jimenez Chiropractic-Med Spa in Miami for an appointment today.