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Whiplash is neck pain that is caused by a traumatic injury to the soft tissues in the neck, usually around the spine. It is usually due to a car accident, but can also be caused by anything that makes the head snap forward and back suddenly and with great force. People have been known to get whiplash from amusement park rides, sports, and even recreational activities like bungee jumping and skydiving.
When the head is thrown forward and snapped back quickly and brutally, it stretches the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck beyond what they are used to. This causes inflammation in the area as it tries to heal. In extreme cases, it can also move vertebrae in the neck out of alignment. Whiplash may cause soreness, bruising, reduction in the range of motion of the neck, swelling, and tenderness.
It almost always causes pain in the affected area, and the pain can even be referred to other areas, causing headaches, back pain, and even pain in the shoulders and arms. Left on its own, it may heal in weeks or months, but it can also become chronic, which is why it is so important to get it treated right away. Full healing is more likely when treatment is prompt.
The best thing to do when you believe you may have whiplash is to visit a car accident chiropractor. This type of chiropractor is trained in treating whiplash injuries, and, in fact, specializes in it. Whether the cause of the whiplash is a car accident or not, it is best to see a chiropractor who can help you.
You will be examined and evaluated to make sure you do, in fact, have whiplash, and to what degree. The cause of the whiplash and how severe it is will determine the treatment. In most cases, the chiropractor will use manual spinal adjustments to put misaligned vertebrae back into place and relieve pressure on stressed soft tissues. Massage, ice, acupuncture, and physical therapy exercises may also be used by the chiropractor to restore full range of motion, eliminate other symptoms, and relieve pain. Depending on the individual person, it may take one to a dozen treatments (and, occasionally more) to heal the whiplash.
Contact us at 253-857-6500 to make your appointment. You will receive an examination, evaluation, and your first treatment, and a custom program for your healing will be set up for you.
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