Whiplash: Causes and Treatment?
Whiplash! We have all heard the term, but what does it really mean?
According to Mayo Clinic:
Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur during rear-end automobile collisions, when your head suddenly moves backward and then forward — similar to the motion of someone cracking a whip. These extreme motions push your neck muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range of motion.
The most common cause of whiplash (or a more common term used in the literature, WAD – Whiplash Associated Disorders) is a rear-end motor vehicle collision. The actual tissue damage comes from shear forces that go thru the cervical spine; the body is thrust forward while the head whips backwards. These forces stretch and tear vulnerable neck soft tissues such as muscle, fascia, ligament, tendons, cartilage and discs. In severe cases, cervical fractures can occur.
The pain can be immediate or can take several days for the symptoms to develop. Whiplash symptoms are often described as a stiff and painful neck, dizziness, headaches, stiffness in the back, neck or shoulders, pain between the shoulder blades and pain and/or tingling in the arms. Patients may have a hard time concentrating, staying focused and sleeping and driving can be difficult.
According to the North American Spine Society statement on Whiplash Injuries:
We know the muscles and ligaments get strained and are probably inflamed, but they usually heal within six to ten weeks. Pain that lasts longer (than 6-10 weeks) is usually due to deeper problems such as injury to the disc or facet joint, or both.
Although the presenting symptoms might begin as a mild annoyance, without treatment by a knowledgeable healthcare professional, the injury and damage to the surrounding affected tissues may persist or get worse and become debilitating. Especially if your pain lasts more than 6-10 weeks.
Whiplash is considered a soft tissue injury, but as the North American Spine Society states, pain lasting longer than 6-10 weeks may be due to disc or facet damage. The “facets” are where the bones in your spine come together and form a “facet joint.”
The North American Spine Society goes on to say:
Facet Joint Pain is the most common cause of chronic neck pain after a car accident. It may occur alone or along with disc pain. Facet joint pain is usually located to the right or left of the center of the neck. The area might be tender to the touch, and facet pain may be mistaken for muscle pain. We cannot tell if a facet joint hurts by how it looks on an X-ray or MRI scan. The only (MEDICAL) way to tell if the joint is a cause of pain is to perform an injection called “medial branch block (MBB)”.
Chiropractic care focuses its treatment on the facet joints! We also treat discs, spine, nerves, muscles, ligaments, whatever structures are damaged we develop a treatment plan to accelerate its healing.
Consider chiropractic’s effectiveness:
93% of Whiplash Patients Improve with Chiropractic Care!
- 43 percent of patients will suffer long-term symptoms following ‘whiplash’ injury.
- If patients are still symptomatic after three months, then there is almost a 90 per cent chance that they will remain so.
- No conventional (MEDICAL) treatment has proven to be effective in these established chronic cases.
- Following (CHIROPRACTIC) treatment, 26 out of 28 (93 per cent!) of chronic patients had improved!
Woodward MN, Cook JCH, Gargan MF, Bannister GC. Chiropractic treatment of chronic ‘whiplash’ injuries. Injury: International Journal of the Care of the Injured 1996.
Chiropractic Care is the Only Proven, Effective Treatment for Chronic Whiplash
“Conventional treatment of patients with whiplash symptoms is disappointing.”
Our results confirm the efficacy of chiropractic, with 69 of our 93 patients (74%) improving following treatment.
“The results from this study provide further evidence that chiropractic is an effective treatment for chronic whiplash symptoms.”
The authors conclude:
“Whiplash injuries are common. Chiropractic is the only proven effective treatment in chronic cases.”
Don’t suffer any longer! Call 847-854-2000 to schedule your consultation to see if you can be one of the 93% that finds a better quality of life with chiropractic care from an Algonquin Chiropractor!