Whiplash occurs when your head gets thrown back and forth rapidly, which usually happens when you’re involved in a rear-end collision. Keep in mind that it’s also possible to get whiplash while playing sports, especially if you participate in contact sports. When your head is thrown suddenly in these situations, your upper spinal discs, muscles, nerves and soft tissue can be damaged. Whiplash can take a few months to recover from, but you might experience chronic pain afterwards if it does not heal properly. You’re more likely to have ongoing pain for years afterwards if you have more severe and sudden symptoms.
When you have whiplash, symptoms might not immediately start after you’re injured. It typically takes up to one day for symptoms to begin. Common symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, neck stiffness, loss of flexibility, and pain that gets worse when you move or try to tilt your neck. You might also have headaches near the bottom of your skull close to your upper neck area. Other symptoms include soreness in your shoulders and upper back. Pain might also move down your arms, or you might have a tingling sensation down your arms. In some cases, whiplash causes fatigue, dizziness, blurry vision, and trouble concentrating. Other symptoms that are not as common include ringing in your ears, mood changes, and trouble sleeping.
When you injure your neck, it’s important to have your condition evaluated. While you might experience symptoms of whiplash, keep in mind that fractures and other injuries can cause similar symptoms. A diagnosis helps ensure that you get the right care for your injury. Conventional treatments for whiplash include over-the-counter pain medications, rest, and ice or heat. However, these measures are not always effective at easing whiplash symptoms. If you have pain that continues or does not get better with conventional treatments, chiropractic treatment can provide relief.
At Health First Injury & Pain Centers, we offer chiropractic treatments that can ease chronic or acute pain associated with whiplash. Our treatments can also lower your risk of having that pain come back. Chiropractic adjustments to your spine help correct any misalignments that have developed due to your injury. Restoring the proper alignment, especially in the upper spine, helps relieve pressure on the damaged area and lets nutrients and oxygen reach it for healing. Our chiropractic care is non-invasive and does not cause any adverse effects, which makes it a safe form of treatment for many individuals with whiplash.
In addition to chiropractic adjustments, we also have physical therapy available at our clinics in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Our physical therapists can help enhance the effects of chiropractic adjustments by making sure that your neck muscles are strong enough to support the affected joints. Physical therapy exercises also give you a way to improve your flexibility, so you can resume your usual activities and tasks. Our healthcare professionals also offer nutritional counseling to ensure that your muscles and joints stay in good condition to lower your risk of having chronic pain from whiplash.