Whiplash and Chiropractic

Whiplash occurs when the cervical spine is subject to abrupt anterior and/or posterior movement of the head (ie. a car accident) causing damage to the cervical ligaments, muscles and tendons. This damage then leads to joint dysfunction, muscle dysfunction, and faulty movement patterns of the cervical and upper thoracic spine. These three types of dysfunction caused by whiplash lead to a variety of symptoms including headaches, dizziness, nausea, arm tingling and numbness and neck and upper back pain and stiffness. In the past these symptoms were treated with immobilization (a cervical collar) this has now proved ineffective and has often led to chronic neck pain. Chiropractic treatment by contrast injects movement early to restore normal functioning of spine and its associated structures. This insures that the damaged structures have a better chance to heal without laxity or tightness. In the case of laxity it leads to instability and an increase in susceptibility to re-injury along with excessive joint wear. The opposite case is when the damaged structures heal without their original elasticity limiting movement and causing chronic pain and loss of function. To prevent this treatment should be sought for any whiplash injury as ice, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants are not enough.

Categories: Autoinjury