What Chiropractors Want You to Know about Whiplash after an Auto Accidents
Symptoms of whiplash after an auto accident include pain, muscle stiffness, dizziness, reduced range of motion, and headaches. If you were recently in an auto accident with a sore neck and suspect you might have whiplash, here is a short list of what a chiropractor wants you to know.
Speed doesn’t matter.
One of the biggest myths associated with whiplash that prevents people from getting the help they need, is that it only sets in after a high-speed accident. The truth is, speed does not matter. Whiplash can occur even when you’re only traveling at 10 miles an hour. If you experience stiffness or pain after an accident at low speed, it’s best to get checked out. Whiplash will not resolve on its own so the injury will only worsen, impacting your quality of life in the meantime.
Rest will not help.
While a bruised muscle can heal on its own, whiplash is different. Since the underlying cause of whiplash is damage to the nerves, ligaments, or spinal discs, the injury will not resolve until you treat it at the root. Chiropractors are trained to relieve neck and back injuries and realign the spinal column, so they are the best choice of medical practitioner to treat whiplash.
Your risk of getting whiplash increases with age.
While you can get whiplash at any age, your risk tends to increase as you get older. Neck muscles decline in flexibility with aging. When the neck is whipped back and forth during an accident, chances of injury are thus greater.
Whiplash has many causes.
Perhaps the biggest myth about whiplash is that it only sets in after auto accidents. Whiplash can occur anytime the neck a violent jolt, such as in fights, sports injuries, physical abuse, or any other trauma to the neck area. Whatever the underlying cause, treatment is the same: restoring the proper alignment of the spine and relieving subluxations of neck muscles and ligaments to restore a full range of motion.
In some cases, people develop whiplash symptoms days or even years after an auto accident. These people may ignore their symptoms or dismiss them as everyday aches and pains associated with aging or poor ergonomics at work. If you experience symptoms associated with whiplash and have a history of traumatic injury in the past, it’s best to get checked out and treated.
Hospitals tend to rely on diagnostic tests, such as an MRI or X-ray, to diagnose and treat auto accident injuries. While these tests may show other injuries, such as broken bones, in most cases they will not indicate whether you have whiplash. The areas of the neck that suffer are simply too small to show up on imaging tests. For this reason, it’s best to contact a chiropractor just in case. By getting an evaluation and the proper treatment, you’ll not only get your wellness back sooner but it will support your personal injury claim too.
Now that you understand whiplash causes, symptoms, and treatment, you can reduce the risk of injury and pain after auto accidents by seeking appropriate care. A chiropractor can restore the full range of motion in your neck and spine, reduce pain and nerve damage, and bring you back to wellness.