When you get into a rear-end car accident or experience other trauma to your neck, a practitioner will ask you questions about your pain. You may also be asked questions about any symptoms you’re experiencing, such as headaches or tinnitus. This course of action is to determine if you have whiplash. Here’s what our Lakeville chiropractor at Enlighten Chiropractic wants you to know about whiplash.
Whiplash is a neck injury, also referred to as a neck sprain in some cases. It occurs when your neck is forced forward and then backward rapidly. It earned its name because the motion that causes it is similar to a whip cracking.
Commonly, whiplash stems from rear-end auto accidents. Other possible causes of whiplash include the following:
- Physical abuse, including profusely being shaken
- Sports accidents
Typically, whiplash symptoms tend to develop within 24 hours of the injury. In some cases, though, the signs don’t appear until days later.
When symptoms arise, you might experience neck stiffness and pain. The pain may worsen whenever you move your neck. Sometimes, you’ll also have tenderness or pain in your upper back, arms, or shoulders.
You could also develop tingling or numbness in your neck that may extend down your arms.
Fatigue and dizziness are also possible. Some people also have ringing in their ears, sleep disturbances, blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems.
The whiplash could cause you to become irritable or depressed.
Usually, people recover fully from whiplash. It’s rare to have complications. In fact, most people, especially with chiropractic care, heal within a few weeks or months. However, the pain can last for several months or even years for some people. Whiplash could limit your range of motion for quite some time, particularly, without care.
Certain patients are more prone to have complications, such as those who had severe neck pain or a drastic decrease in their range of motion. Symptoms also tend to be long lasting if you have pain that extends into your arms.
Other factors associated with complications are:
- Advanced age
- Low back or neck pain before the accident
- Had whiplash in the past
- Injury occurred at high speed
Chiropractic Care for Whiplash
Ideally, you should search for an “auto accident chiropractor Lakeville, MN” as soon as you can after an auto accident, even if you have no major issues. The same applies if you experienced other trauma to your neck.
During the exam, your Lakeville chiropractor will examine your neck. The practitioner will also ask about your range of motion and current symptoms. Your chiropractor may ask you to move your neck to assess your range of motion.
Imaging can’t help a chiropractor determine if you have whiplash because it doesn’t cause any apparent problems on this diagnostic testing. However, an X-ray, computerized tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be used to rule out other issues.
Treatment for whiplash may include alignments. With this treatment, your practitioner will manually move the vertebrae in your neck since they could shift slightly out of place from the trauma.
Exercise therapy is another option. For this treatment, your chiropractor will ask you to move your neck in certain ways to help stretch it and encourage blood flow to the area to promote a speedy, complete recovery.
At your appointment, your practitioner may also recommend at-home measures, which will ease your symptoms and optimize the healing process.
A search for “auto accident chiropractor Lakeville, MN” can guide you to our practice. If you have whiplash, our chiropractor will offer treatments to relieve your symptoms while ensuring you regain as much range of motion as possible.
Schedule an appointment with Enlighten Chiropractic, serving Lakeville, MN, and the neighboring region, by calling 952-232-1935 or using our online form.