Whiplash is a commonly used term that covers a wide variety of debilitating injuries involving the neck and back after a trauma. While being rear-ended in a car collision is the most common way to sustain whiplash; you can be struck from any angle and at any speed and become injured. Whiplash can also be caused by other trauma, not just car accidents. The injury patterns can include any of the following:
- Joint dysfunction
- Muscle dysfunction
- Faulty movement patterns
- Disc derangement
In order to properly address these injuries and the pain and disability that come with them, all victims of car accidents should consult a chiropractor who will take a holistic approach in the treatment of whiplash and prevent the chronic pain that can come with it.
Joint Dysfunction from Whiplash
When one of the joints in the spine or extremities loses its resiliency and shock absorption from whiplash, it is called joint dysfunction. When a joint develops dysfunction, it will be painful and your range of movement may be affected.
Your doctor will assess the range of motion in the joint using a chiropractic technique called motion palpation, in which the chiropractor gently manipulates the joint to evaluate its range of motion.
If you are suffering from joint dysfunction, it can lead to muscle imbalance and pain. The initial injury will worsen without treatment as:
- The loss of joint play causes abnormal signals to the nervous system because of the number of nerve receptors in the joint itself
- The muscles related to that joint can now become either underactive or too tense
This cycle leads to muscle imbalance that will increase stress on the injured joint, making the joint dysfunction even worse.
How Your Chiropractor can treat Whiplash after a Car Accident
A chiropractor may consider the use of non-invasive spinal decompression therapy to relieve pain and promote healing in whiplash as well as other injuries that affect spinal alignment. Spinal decompression is also used to treat lower back pain and sciatica.
Non-invasive spinal decompression therapy involves gently stretching the spine using a traction table or computerized motor device to relieve pain in the back, neck, or extremities. Non-invasive spinal decompression addresses not only your pain, but the injury or cause behind it.
Spinal decompression therapy uses traction techniques that have been successfully used by health professionals to relieve pain and allow the healing of bulging, herniated, or degenerating discs. It is a safe alternative to risky surgeries such as laminectomy and microdiscectomy.
The goal of your non-invasive spinal decompression therapy treatments is to:
- Reposition herniated or bulging discs by creating a negative intra-discal pressure
- Allow healing nutrients and substances to reach the disc by creating lower disc pressures
Non-invasive Spinal Decompression is used to gently restore the alignment in your spine while supporting and protecting your neck. It can either be used alone or in combination with other chiropractic procedures for faster, more effective pain relief and healing.
What to Expect During your Non-Invasive Spinal Decompression Session
During your treatment session, you will lie face up and fully clothed on the traction table. The table is connected to a computer which will control the movement of the table in small, precise stages. Even though you will hardly notice the movements, your spine is being gently stretched to allow decompression of the vertebra. The entire process is relaxing and pain free; in fact, some patients have been known to fall asleep during the session. The therapy lasts between fifteen and thirty minutes depending on the treatment plan your chiropractor has tailored for your individual needs. Generally speaking, treatment plans of ten to twelve sessions have been found to provide the longest lasting pain relief.
Schedule an Appointment as Soon as Possible after an Accident
Whiplash is an injury that will only worsen with time. Without proper treatment, whiplash can cause you pain and disability for months and even years. Because the pain isn’t always felt immediately, you may not even be aware you have an injury. The sooner your chiropractor begins to treat your injury, the faster you will heal and the less complicated the injury will be.
Your chiropractor has the techniques, such as non-invasive spinal decompression, that will help you heal without surgery or addictive drugs. The faster you begin treatment after a car accident, the faster you can get back to living your normal, active, pain-free life.