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Treating Symptoms from Whiplash with Chiropractic Care

Written By Autera Health Center on January 15, 2018

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in auto accidents, affecting over one million people each year. However, treatment for whiplash can be challenging, as symptoms may not appear for weeks or even months after the injury, leading some people to believe that their pain is unrelated to the accident or injury.  

Whiplash occurs when the neck is thrust forward, then immediately snaps backward due to impact being exerted from behind, as typically would happen in a rear-end collision.  Whiplash can also occur when the neck moves suddenly side to side.  It can affect both the vertebrae of the cervical spine, as well as the soft tissue in the area, causing pain, fatigue, dizziness, and in some cases long term neurological damage.

Whiplash Can Be A Chronic Condition

Because many symptoms indicating whiplash may not appear for a period of time after injury, many people do not seek immediate care. Symptoms include headache, low back pain, neck pain, chronic fatigue and anxiety and depression. It is estimated that between 25% to 40% of people who sustain whiplash never fully recover.

How Does Chiropractic Treatment Help Whiplash

Individual treatment plans for whiplash are important, as the extent of damage to vertebrae and tissue will vary from patient to patient. However, in each case the practitioner will evaluate the trauma to the spine and neck, considering any particular symptoms or areas of acute pain. Based on a comprehensive evaluation, treatment can include flexion-distraction technique to manually alleviate any disc herniation and/or vertebrae misalignment that are causing physical distress.

Different treatment options for whiplash can include instrument assisted adjustments and manipulation, soft tissue assisted therapy such as Graston Technique, therapeutic massage and trigger point therapy.  Used together, most of these therapies can provide immediate as well as long-term relief from the symptoms of whiplash.

Surveys Indicate Patients Respond Well to Chiropractic Care for Whiplash

In a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 93% of patients who had sustained whiplash and were experiencing long-term symptoms reported improvement of their pain and symptoms after receiving chiropractic treatment for whiplash. These overwhelming results suggest that seeking chiropractic care immediately following an accident where whiplash is suspected or diagnosed can dramatically reduce the likelihood of chronic pain.

Posted In: Auto Injury Whiplash