If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms after a motor vehicle accident: neck, upper, middle, or low-back pain, headaches, nausea, dizziness, shoulder, arm, leg pain etc…Please call our office.

Our experienced doctors have taken extensive post doctorate courses in the treatment of victims of car accidents. We have specialized equipment such as J-Tech instrumentation, which is used to perform “Functional Capacity” evaluations, disability, and impairment ratings.

We also offer physical therapy and an exercise rehabilitation center to help get you back to your normal pre-accident condition. Most auto insurance companies cover the cost of care. Our office accepts third-party assignment of benefits including attorney liens, medpay benefits, and health insurance (excluding deductibles and copayments). Based on qualifying insurance, this allows you to be treated with little or no out of pocket costs.

We will be glad to work with the responsible person’s insurance carrier or your attorney to make sure that you receive all the care you need. You will need to bring in all insurance and/or attorney information with you at the time of your chiropractic appointment.

Whiplash

Definition:

Whiplash is a sudden, moderate-to-severe strain affecting the bones, discs, muscles, nerves, or tendons of the neck. The neck is composed of seven small bones. Known as the cervical spine, these bones:

  • Support the head
  • Help maintain an unobstructed enclosure for the spinal cord
  • Influence the shape and structure of the spine
  • Affect posture and balance

Occurrences:

Most whiplash injuries are the result of motor vehicle accidents or collisions involving contact sports. When an unexpected force jerks the head back, then forward the bones of the neck snap out of position and irritated nerves can interfere with flow of blood and transmission of nerve impulses. Pinched nerves can damage or destroy the function of body parts whose actions they govern.

Causes and Symptoms:

Tension shortens and tightens muscles. Fatigue relaxes them. Either condition increases the likelihood that whiplash will occur and the probability that the injury will be severe. Sometimes symptoms of whiplash appear right away or they may not develop until hours, days, or weeks after the injury occurs.

Symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Pain or stiffness in the neck, jaw, shoulders, or arms
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Loss of feeling in an arm or hand
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Depression and vision problems are rare symptoms of this condition

Diagnosis:

Whiplash is difficult to diagnose because x rays and other imaging studies do not always reveal changes in bone structure. Organs affected by nerve damage or reduced blood supply may generate symptoms not clearly related to whiplash. Diagnosis is based on observation of the patient’s symptoms, medical history, physical examination, and neurological studies to determine whether the spine has been injured.

Treatment:

Medication, physical therapy, and supportive measures are used to treat whiplash. Chiropractors gently realign the spine to relax pinched nerves or improve blood flow. A patient whose symptoms are severe may wear a soft, padded collar (Thomas collar or cervical collar) until the pain diminishes. When pressure on the root of the nerve causes a loss of strength or sensation in a hand or arm, a cervical traction apparatus may be recommended.

Self-care:

Inflammation and cramping can be alleviated by wrapping ice or an ice pack in a thin towel and applying it to the injured area for 10-20 minutes every hour. After the first 24 hours, painful muscle spasms can be prevented by alternating cold packs with heat treatments. Letting a warm shower run on the neck and shoulders for 10-20 minutes twice a day is recommended. Between showers, warm towels or a heat lamp should be used to warm and soothe the neck for 10-15 minutes several times a day. Improving posture is important, and gentle massage can be beneficial. Sleeping without a pillow promotes healing, and a cervical collar or small rolled towel pinned under the chin can provide support and prevent muscle fatigue. Alcohol should be avoided. A chiropractor, primary care physician, or orthopedic specialist should be notified whenever a painful neck injury occurs. Another situation requiring attention is if the face or arm weaken or become painful or numb following a neck injury.

Prognosis:

With treatment, whiplash can usually be cured in one week to three months after an injury occurs. If nerve roots are damaged, numbness and weakness may last until recovery is complete.

Prevention:

Chiropractors can recommend diet and exercise techniques to reduce stress and tension. Careful, defensive driving, wearing seatbelts, and using padded automobile headrests can lessen the likelihood of whiplash.

If you’re in pain from car accident injuries, then take advantage of our chiropractic services by making an appointment today.

Resources:

Haggerty, Maureen. “Whiplash.” A Healthy MePage. June 7, 1998. http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/topic100587681.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.