Chiropractic Care for Whiplash

Chiropractic care for whiplash provides non-surgical treatment options to resolve discomfort or pain in the neck. Whiplash is a neck injury caused due to a sudden forward and backward movement resulting from trauma, such as a car accident. 

The “whiplash motion” can injure the neck, spinal discs, muscles, or other tissues around the neck. Exercise and medications can help some people recover from whiplash in two to three weeks. 

However, some patients may develop chronic pain or other symptoms for prolonged periods. Chiropractic care can help treat such issues.

What is Whiplash?

The motion of a cracking whip involves a rapid movement of the whip in opposite directions - forward and backward. During incidents such as car accidents, the impact the vehicle may have with another object or due to a sudden breaking action can result in your spine experiencing a similar movement. 

In such cases, the spine may be thrown into a rapid extension and contraction (bending) movement in a very short space of time. This is known as whiplash. The force with which your body experiences the jerky movement can cause injury in the neck, spinal discs, muscles, or other tissues around the neck.

Although a motor vehicle accident is one of the most common causes of this injury, they are not the sole reason for whiplash. Sports injuries, physical abuse, or other trauma can cause whiplash.

Symptoms of Whiplash

Symptoms of whiplash usually appear about 24 hours after the initial impact. Patients dealing with whiplash may experience any of the following symptoms within the first couple of days after injury.

  • Neck pain or stiffness 
  • Shoulder pain 
  • Low back pain 
  • Reduced range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches or dizziness 
  • Lack of sleep 
  • Fatigue and difficulty concentrating 

If you experience one or more of these symptoms after an injury, please contact your primary care physician to rule out the possibility of fractures or other severe complications that can worsen your symptoms. 

What to Expect with Chiropractic Care for Whiplash

Chiropractic therapy and adjustments can successfully correct the symptoms associated with whiplash. At Lotus Chiropractic Care, Dr. Desai performs a comprehensive evaluation of the spine and identifies any areas of disc injury, ligament injury, or restricted motion. 

Dr. Desai assesses the cervical spine in flexion and extension movements via X-rays to determine if a patient has experienced whiplash. If a vertebra is out of position, it is an indicator of whiplash.

With early intervention, chiropractic care can help reduce pain and headaches, improve muscle tone, and speed up recovery.

Types of Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash

Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of the injury. Dr. Desai may use the following chiropractic techniques to treat whiplash symptoms.

Gentle Spinal Manipulation

During a gentle spinal manipulation, Dr. Desai uses stable and gentle adjustments using the NUCCA technique to move the misaligned neck joints to their correct position. Your muscles relax as a result of specific analytical adjustments made by Dr. Desai.

Spinal Decompression Therapy

Spinal decompression therapy can be helpful for patients dealing with chronic neck pain or bulging discs in the cervical spine. 

During this process, the spine is gently stretched to allow it to change position. This helps relieve pressure off the spinal disks, promotes water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich fluids movement into the disks, and encourages healing.

Instrument-assisted Techniques

Patients who do not want “hands-on” therapies can benefit from instrument adjustments, such as with the Activator method. Dr. Desai uses specialized instruments to apply gentle (non-thrusting) force to the spine to treat the damaged soft tissues. 

Suggested Lifestyle Changes

You may also need to make changes to your everyday routine to reduce strain on the body. This can include posture correction and specific exercises. Dr. Desai can advise you on how you can avoid aggravating your symptoms. 

Case Studies of Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash

This case study is about a six-year-old child who was recently in an auto accident. She was sitting in the back seat in a booster chair. She was looking at an iPad when the accident happened. The vehicle she was in was rear-ended. 

In the x-ray on the right, the 2nd, 4th, and 6th vertebrae are all stacked on top of each other. The vertebral column has a break in the line of how it should be oriented. 

After one month of treatment, in the x-ray on the left, you can see that her vertebrae are now properly stacked, with enough room around each vertebra. Chiropractic care restored the proper curve in her neck.

This case study is of an adult who was involved in an auto accident and suffered from whiplash. 

In the picture on the right, you can see that even though her head is oriented straight, the vertebrae are staggered on top of one another instead of stacked. This also indicated ligament damage.

The x-ray on the left shows that the vertebrae are stacked correctly when she is in the flexion-extension position. Chiropractic care fixed her whiplash. 

Get Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash

Dr. Tanvi Desai is a chiropractic expert with extensive training and experience in caring for patients' spinal misalignments. She offers patients treatment options for gentle adjustments. 

Lotus Chiropractic Care can help improve posture, reduce pain, and improve the body's overall function. If you suspect you have suffered whiplash, Dr. Desai can help get your body back to a pain-free life.

We service residents of Dunwoody and surrounding areas from our office on Mt. Vernon Rd, Dunwoody, Georgia.

Learn if chiropractic care may be right for you. Call us at (470) 719-9539 or request an appointment online

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