Adjustments Help: A Chiropractor Blog

Chiropractic Care Can Disrupt The Development Of Whiplash

Whiplash is a common injury after a car accident. It causes pain and stiffness in the neck, and the symptom can last for weeks or months. One of the best ways to deal with whiplash after a car accident is to see a chiropractor. This is not exactly because chiropractors treat whiplash but rather because the work they do can stop or reduce the development of whiplash in the first place. Does that sound a little confusing? It will be more clear after you read the explanation below.

What is whiplash, and how does it develop?

Whiplash is really a cascade of symptoms and problems that arise after the neck gets bent forward and then back — as it does in a car crash. It starts with muscle strain, as this type of motion is very hard on the muscles. The pulling of the muscles as the neck whips forward and back can then pull the vertebrae out of alignment. This, in turn, puts strain on the tendons and ligaments in the neck. 

You may not initially notice any symptoms of whiplash right after a car crash. And that's because the muscle strain and vertebral misalignment are still minor. However, as your muscles try to recover from the minor strain, they struggle to do so because the misaligned vertebrae are pulling on them. This causes the muscles to tighten more, which can pull the vertebrae further out of line. It really is a long, circular progression of cause and effect, and that's why most cases of whiplash seem to get way, way worse before they get better.

How can a chiropractor stop this progression?

There is a way to escape the ongoing, cyclical nature of whiplash symptoms. And that way is to see a chiropractor as soon as possible after your car crash. They can adjust your spine and put your vertebrae back in alignment while the muscle tension is still minimal, which helps ensure the vertebrae actually stay aligned. This keeps the muscle tension, pain, and inflammation from worsening. In the end, you might have a couple of days of minor neck stiffness rather than weeks spent barely able to turn your head.

Chiropractic adjustments are not painful, and they are safe. Your chiropractor may also use other supportive therapies, like cold laser therapy, to ease the muscle tension and keep whiplash from worsening. 

Whiplash can be a real pain, but with a visit to the chiropractor, you can stop it in its tracks and escape the cycle. Make this smart move after any accident.

To learn more, contact a chiropractor that deals with car accident injuries.