Dealing with whiplash after a car accident? Find out how chiropractic treatment can help.
Have you recently been involved with a car accident and are now dealing with general soreness and neck stiffness? If so, you could be dealing with whiplash, a common injury that affects more than two million Americans every year. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck are suddenly jerked forward or backward, causing muscles, joints, and ligaments to all overstretch. Read on to learn how to recognize the symptoms of whiplash and to find out when it might be time to turn to our Federal Way, WA, chiropractor, Dr. Andrew Winger, for care.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
You may not notice symptoms of whiplash for up to 24 hours or more after the accident. In fact, many people who end up dealing with whiplash feel fine immediately after their accident. Those with whiplash most often experience at least one of these symptoms,
- Neck pain
- Limited mobility and range of motion
- Shoulder pain and stiffness
- Numbness in the arms and hands
- Jaw pain
- Ringing in the ears
Those with more severe whiplash symptoms may also experience insomnia, anxiety, irritability, depression, and other mood changes.
Can whiplash go away without treatment?
A patient’s treatment plan will vary depending on the severity of their whiplash and the symptoms they are experiencing. In order to determine this, our chiropractic doctor will need to see you in our Federal Way, WA, clinic for a full evaluation.
During this evaluation, we will perform a thorough physical examination. Imaging tests may also be recommended to check the severity of the damage to the ligaments, muscles, and tendons of the neck and upper back.
Those with mild whiplash may be able to treat their symptoms without seeing a doctor. Resting, icing, and taking anti-inflammatory medications can all help ease symptoms until the soft tissues heal. That being said, if your symptoms are severe, or if they are persistent and don’t respond to at-home care, then it’s time to see a doctor.
While medication can be prescribed to help ease tight muscles and dull the pain, medication cannot treat the source of the problem. In this case, physical therapy is almost always recommended; however, no matter how minor your symptoms, it’s always best to play it safe and see a doctor after a car accident to check for potentially serious injuries.
How does a chiropractor treat whiplash?
The most common way to ease whiplash is through regular spinal manipulation, using different manual techniques that help treat everything from tight stiff muscles to herniated discs after an accident.
Spinal manipulation can help realign vertebrae in the cervical area of the spine to restore movement and function while also reducing pain and inflammation. Spinal manipulation can also improve blood flow and circulation to these areas, allowing the blood to deliver the proper nutrients to the areas to speed up the healing process.
Along with spinal manipulation, your chiropractor may also recommend,
- Electrical stimulation
- Therapeutic exercises
Concerned? Give us a call!
Don’t ignore the symptoms of whiplash. Even if you feel fine immediately after an accident, it’s common for symptoms to show up days or even weeks later. If you are dealing with neck pain and stiffness turn to Redondo Family Chiropractic in Federal Way, WA, today by dialing (253) 941-6977.