For those of you who don't know (probably because you haven't experienced one yourself), whiplash can be an excruciatingly painful injury. It is caused in the neck muscles due to rapid back and forth motion when subjected to a trauma or impact, such as a car accident. The injury can cause acute distress in the neck and also restrict its movement.
However, the pain is short-term in most cases, and there are various treatment options available to patients. This is the time when an auto accident chiropractor can alleviate the discomfort and bring your life back to normal.
How can an auto accident chiropractor help?
When you visit an auto accident chiropractor, he or she will ask you about the entire event and the various symptoms you are experiencing. He or she will also evaluate any pre-existing conditions, like back pain and arthritis, both of which can intensify the problem. You will be required to undergo an x-ray or MRI for your doctor to gauge the condition.
After understanding your medical history, an auto accident chiropractor will examine your spine to check if other regions, besides the neck, are hurt. He or she will identify any points of restricted joint movement, muscle spasms, intervertebral disc injury, and ligament tears.
After evaluating your spine, walking posture, and neck movement, an auto accident chiropractor starts with the treatment depending on the severity of the issue. Firstly, he or she will focus on reducing the inflammation in your neck using certain therapy modalities. A few examples of these include muscle energy therapy and gentle stretching. The use of an ice pain until the pain subsides may also be recommended.
However, the most common chiropractic treatment option is spinal manipulation. This may include the following sub-techniques:
- Flexion-distraction technique: This is a gentle form of spinal manipulation to treat herniated discs that may or may not involve an arm pain. A herniated disc can amplify your whiplash injury. So an auto accident chiropractor performs slow, pumping actions instead of applying direct force on the spinal cord.
- Instrument-assisted technique: This is another non-thrusting spinal manipulation technique that involves the use of a specialized hand-held instrument. Your auto accident chiropractor uses it to apply gentle force on the injury without thrusting the spinal cord. This spinal manipulation technique is seen to be effective for older patients who also suffer from degenerative joint syndrome.
- Specific spinal manipulation: An auto accident chiropractor evaluates spinal joints that are showing signs of abnormal or restrictive motion. This condition is called subluxation. He or she will use this technique to restore joint motion with gentle thrusts. The thrusting action stretches soft muscle tissues and activates the nervous system to bring back normal movement.
According to Pro-Care Medical Center an auto accident chiropractor will examine you from head to toes, and not just your current issue. They treat neck pain as unique to each patient and emphasize prevention as the secret to good health. Besides these treatments, your chiropractor will also recommend therapeutic exercises to help restore normal spine motion and reduce whiplash symptoms.