Whiplash is one of the injuries that will most frequently be seen following a traumatic incident like a car accident or a fall. Because it is such a commonplace injury, many people think it is simply something to be expected when they are involved in an accident. As a result, they fail to seek proper treatment for their pain. It is important to make plans to obtain effective and accessible treatment of whiplash for your pain and injury.
The Diagnostic Process for Whiplash Injuries
When you make an appointment to visit with your chiropractor, you will first share the type and location of the pain you are experiencing. However, don’t assume that they will jump right into treating your neck from its whiplash injuries.
Chiropractors operate with an understanding that the human body is much more interconnected than traditional medicine generally acknowledges. That being said, their more synergistic approach will generally look more like an evaluation of your entire spine.
They will determine what about your spine is functioning improperly, in addition to the issues you complain of when you consult with them. They do this by way of a physical examination, and they look for details, such as tension, injury, limited mobility, and areas in spasm. Once this examination is complete, your chiropractor will have a better idea of how to help reduce your pain and increase your quality of life.
Sometimes, additional diagnostic tools are utilized to provide the best possible treatment plan for the client. MRI scans, CT scans, and even X-rays can be used to round out your chiropractor’s understanding of your injuries.
How Is Whiplash Treated by a Chiropractor?
Chiropractic Treatment – Spinal Manipulation
Chiropractic care generally begins with, and places a heavy emphasis on, the implementation of spinal manipulation techniques. This means that force or pressure is applied to areas of the spine that need aligning in order to provide effective pain relief.
The most common techniques for spinal manipulation employed by chiropractors for whiplash treatment are flexion-distraction technique, instrument-assisted manipulation, and specific spinal manipulation.
Flexion-distraction is a gentler technique that is used to treat pain and herniation in discs that can, unfortunately, occur following a whiplash injury. Instead of applying quick and direct force to the area affected, the chiropractor will use slower, less intense pushing motions on the discs.
Other techniques for spinal manipulation rely on the use of special instruments as the implement that applies force. These instruments can help to set areas that are experiencing pain or degeneration without the need to apply direct force to the area.
Specific spinal manipulation is the type of spinal manipulation that most individuals are familiar with when it comes to chiropractic care. This is a term that refers to the technique of thrusting in the direction of an area of subluxation, or misalignment in the spine. When the chiropractor does this, they are able to realign the spine by encouraging the nervous system to do the work it was supposed to do in the first place.
Chiropractic Treatment – Manual Therapy for Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are sometimes treated in more specific ways than just spinal manipulation. Chiropractors refer to these techniques as manual therapy. In doing so, muscles and ligaments that are injured can be repaired over time and range of motion can be restored.
Chiropractors will utilize instrument-assisted therapy, trigger point therapy, therapeutic massage, and various manual resistance and stretching techniques to improve the state of the soft tissue in the injured area. Instruments can be useful to gently stimulate the soft tissue by stroking the area with the implement.
Trigger point therapy is as it sounds; a precise treatment for specific and pointed areas of tension or pain. The chiropractor can often provide this treatment using their fingers.
One of the more enjoyable treatments your chiropractor might use would be therapeutic massage. This therapy will stimulate the muscles to relax from their tense state.
Finally, various resistance-based stretches can also be helpful in rehabilitating soft tissue that has become damaged.
Therapeutic Chiropractic Treatment to Reduce Inflammation
Additional therapies that can be useful in the treatment of neck and back injuries caused by whiplash may include ultrasound therapy and interferential electrical stimulation.
Ultrasound therapy helps to heal various muscle pain, spasms, and tension-related problems by inserting sound waves deep into tissue to heat it slightly. This warmth increases circulation and helps to improve natural healing processes.
Interferential electrical stimulation activates muscles with the use of gentle and safe electricity. When this happens, inflammation is necessarily reduced in the affected area.
Your chiropractor will do all that they are able to reduce the pain and inconvenience you experience in the form of your whiplash injury. Because of the way that a chiropractor practices, they will likely help you to implement a plan which addresses your whiplash injury, in addition to any other spinal issues they might detect in their initial examination of your body.
If you have experienced a trauma that left you with a whiplash injury to cope with, contact the team of professional chiropractors at AICA Orthopedics today to begin your journey to feeling better and moving out of pain.