Whiplash is most commonly received from riding in a car that is struck from behind or that collides with another object. When the head is suddenly jerked back and forth beyond its normal limits, the muscles and ligaments supporting the head and spine can be stretched or torn. The soft, pulpy discs between spinal bones can bulge, tear or rupture. Vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion. The spinal cord and nerve roots in the neck can get stretched and irritated. While the occupants can suffer considerable soft tissue injury, the car may be only slightly damaged.
The resulting instability of the spine and soft tissues can contribute to headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, pain in the shoulders, arms and hands, reduced ability to turn and bend, and low back problems. As the body attempts to adapt, symptoms may not appear until weeks or even months later.
The chiropractic approach is to use specific adjustments to help normalize spinal function. After a thorough case history and examination, the doctor will recommend a series of visits to help restore proper motion and position of spinal bones. If caught early enough, inflammation can be reduced and scar tissue may be minimized.
Chiropractors are experts in the care of the bones, nerves, muscles and connective tissues that make up about 60% of your body. All of the joints in your body are part of this musculoskeletal system and its optimal function is necessary for overall good health. Ask your Doctor of Chiropractic for more information about a care program that may include specific spinal adjustments, exercise recommendations, nutritional advice or other conservative methods of care based on your health history, age, current condition and lifestyle.