You were rear-ended on your way to work a few days ago. The accident was minor enough that your air bags didn't inflate, but it did throw you around in your seat a bit. Now you're having neck pain and headaches. It's time to visit a chiropractor like Davidson Chiropractic Clinic to treat your neck injury before it gets worse. Learn why you're having pain now and how to get rid of it.
Whiplash and Neck Pain
This delayed response to such an injury to your neck is common with whiplash. This is the sudden forcing of your head and neck forward and back. Muscles, nerves and sometimes bone can be damaged from the force. Your body's natural response is to cause the tissues in your neck to swell, creating a natural cushion for the bones and soft tissues.
A few days later, when the swelling goes down, the true extent of the damage becomes apparent. The nerves in and around your cervical spine are irritated by muscles and bones, creating pain in your neck, head, and down your arms. As long as the pressure remains on the nerves, you'll experience pain. The goal of the chiropractic clinic is to relieve the pressure, reduce the pain, and help the structures in your neck heal correctly.
Treatment for a Whiplash Injury
The treatment offered by your chiropractor depends on the type of cervical spine damage caused by the whiplash injury. Three typical reasons for the pain include:
Based on the results of the examination, and the extent of the injuries, your chiropractor may use one or more of the following treatment options:
Manipulation - The basic manipulation procedure is to gently move the affected vertebrae to relieve the pressure they exert on the muscles and nerves in your neck.
Muscle massage - Tense muscles are gently stretched and allowed to relax to reduce the pressure they are putting on the nerves. Firmer stretching may be done with special equipment on muscles that are under a lot of stress. Your chiropractor may use their fingers to put pressure on specific muscle trigger points to relieve tension and pain.
McKenzie exercises - These exercises help to realign the discs. While they are started in the clinic, you are taught the exercises so you can continue doing them at home.
Stabilization exercises - This technique retrains the muscles in the neck to assume their proper movement patterns that were affected by the whiplash injury.
Electro-stimulation - This uses a small electrical current sent to tense muscles to help them relax. This treatment is useful on muscles that may have spasms as a result of the injury.
In addition to the treatments in the office, your doctor will discuss any lifestyle changes that will help you recover. Diet changes, medications and home exercises will allow you to help your neck to heal and be free of pain.
I was badly injured a year ago, and it took a long time to get back to my normal level of ability. One of the things that helped more than anything was the time that I spent in physical therapy. I didn’t always love going to physical therapy – in fact, sometimes, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. But ultimately, the therapists and other patients I worked with helped inspire me to get better, and the exercises facilitated my healing process. I started this blog to talk about all of the things I learned about physical therapy and healing during my recovery time. I hope my blog reaches other accident victims. I want to offer encouragement, hope, and information for people who are in the same boat that I was in.