Just about anyone who is involved in an auto accident will experience some pain and tension in the days following the crash. For some patients, the discomfort that results from a car accident will fade in a few days or weeks; for others, the pain lingers, and in some cases may even get worse. A common type of injury that occurs after auto accidents is whiplash. The extreme force that is exerted during a car crash causes an abrupt jerking movement of the head. When this occurs, the muscles, discs, joints, ligaments, and nerves of the neck can become strained and damaged. Temecula chiropractor Nathen Horst treats whiplash with chiropractic adjustments, gentle massage techniques, and exercises for the neck.
The effects of whiplash can seriously impact a patient’s quality of life. The symptoms of whiplash include:
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, in between the shoulder blades, lower back, arms, or hands
- Stiffness of the neck
- Numbness or tingling in the arm or hand
- Blurry vision
- Ringing ears
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Fatigue or changes in sleeping patterns
- Increased irritability
In some cases, the symptoms of whiplash do not present themselves for a day or so.
While pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen and injections of steroids and anti-inflammatory medications can reduce the symptoms associated with whiplash, these treatments to not address the source of the problem. At Horst Chiropractic, we employ the use of natural therapies that target the underlying disorder to permanently relieve whiplash symptoms. Our treatment approach involves the use of:
- Exercises and physical therapy: Specific exercises and physical therapy that targets the neck can alleviate muscle strain and reduce the pain caused by whiplash. Easy, steady movement of the muscles will prevent atrophy and weakness, and promote more rapid healing.
- Massage: Massage therapy can relax the neck muscles and increase the flow of oxygen to healing tissues. This technique can also reduce the amount of pain that is caused by whiplash.
- Chiropractic adjustments: The chiropractic treatment plan for whiplash typically involves the use of spinal manipulation in the treatment of joint dysfunction. Displaced joints are moved into place using a thrusting or slow and steady motion. Affected muscles are stretched to relieve tension and muscle contractions. Pressure may also be applied to specific trigger points to reduce muscle tightness and pain.
Other Whiplash Treatments
The following whiplash treatments may be used in addition to chiropractic care:
- Neck brace: In the days immediately following the auto accident, you may be asked to wear a neck brace to stabilize the neck and prevent further injury. Chiropractic care may be put off until the neck brace comes off.
- Ice: Patients can ice the neck injury in the days following surgery. Ice can help reduce inflammation.
- Heat: A few days after the auto accident, patients may use a heating pad to minimize pain. The heat pad can replace the ice packs that were used in the days immediately following the auto accident.
To schedule chiropractic care for a whiplash injury, contact Horst Chiropractic today.