Injury to the neck caused by a forceful, rapid, and back-and-forth movement is a whiplash. Most people get it in car accidents. Physical abuse, sports accidents, and trauma incidences also cause whiplash.
Whiplash causes pain and stiffness in the neck. The pain may spread to the arms, shoulders, chest, and upper back. Other effects include difficulty in swallowing and dizziness. People also experience blurred vision and nausea. Whiplash heals with exercise and medication. But, chiropractic care hastens the process.
Whiplash treatment begins with physical examination and a study of your medical history. The chiropractor examines the neck and entire spine to locate injury sites. The chiropractor then notes pre-existing conditions that could influence the treatment. The chiropractor also asks for details of what caused the pain or injury.
Some cases may call for advanced imaging. The chiropractor may send you for a cervical CT scan if he suspects severe cervical spine trauma. Patients with neck pain and tingling sensations in the arms may need a cervical MRI and a CT scan. The symptoms are consistent with critical cervical spine trauma that causes ligamentous damage.
Whiplash treatment brings down pain and restores neck motion. It also restores your health sooner. Your treatment plan will depend on the extent of the injury and your pain levels. Patients must be active throughout the treatment period. But, some injuries could be severe and may need immobilization. The patient wears a cervical foam collar for the first few days, then takes it off.
The chiropractor adjusts the cervical vertebrae by thrusting the affected area. Slower movements and gentle pressing also help to free up the joints in the restricted area. Sometimes, the whiplash manifests a bulging or herniated disc. To treat this, the chiropractor takes up the flexion-distraction technique. He gently manipulates the spine, shifting the herniated discs back to position. The cervical adjustments are suitable for when the initial inflammation and pain subsides. Administering the therapy earlier would aggravate the discomfort and pain. The chiropractor then performs a functional capacity evaluation to assess the functionality deficiency.
Muscle stimulation is the primary treatment for muscle dysfunction. It involves several gentle stretches of tense muscles to get rid of restrictions. Since the neck is fragile, the chiropractor only uses his fingers to apply the pressure.
Traditional chiropractic practices involve using hands, but there are some useful tools too. A common tool is the interferential electrical stimulation device. It radiates low-frequency electrical currents that stimulate the neck muscles to relieve tightness. The process is painless, and it causes inflammation or pain to go down. When treating severe injuries, chiropractors also use a therapeutic ultrasound. The ultrasound produces sound waves that generate heat in the muscles. The heat causes stiff muscles to relax and increases the local blood flow. Patients also enjoy reduced muscle spasms.
Chiropractors understand that patients are different. This means that the healing rate is different too. As such, chiropractors create treatment plans to fit the patients’ nature and needs. The chiropractor may choose soft-tissue techniques, chiropractic adjustments, or both. The patient also gets a recommendation of rehabilitative exercises to progress the healing. Some lifestyle changes are also necessary for restoring motion in the joints.
Chiropractic care takes a subjective approach to whiplash treatment. For a chiropractic consultation, visit Westchase Wellness Chiropractic Center in Houston, Texas. You can also call 281-462-5881 to book your appointment.