Here at Vital Wellness Center, a common condition that we see is whiplash. Approximately three million Americans sustain whiplash injuries every year and one and a half million of them will suffer from chronic pain. In the following guide, our chiropractor for whiplash, Dr. Foss, will provide a quick overview of this condition as well as the symptoms, causes, and chiropractic care we offer.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash, which is most commonly associated with car accidents, is an injury caused when the head is quickly and forcefully snapped back and forth during a fall, car accident, or some other type of damaging impact. The nerves and muscles are injured when the neck suffers a rapid back and forth motion. The spinal vertebrae can also shift into misalignment causing widespread pain, diminished function, and reduced sensation because the spine protects the nerves that travel throughout the body.
Whiplash Common Causes
Any impact that results in violent back and forth head movement can result in whiplash. Although it’s frequently associated with auto accidents, falling and sports injuries are also common causes of whiplash injuries.
The symptoms of whiplash can vary in severity from person to person. These are some likely symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Head, neck, shoulder, upper arm, or back pain
- Fatigue or insomnia
- Difficulty turning the head
- ”Pins and needles” sensation in the fingers, hands, or arms
Neck pain is the most frequent reason that leads people to search the internet for “whiplash treatment near me.” This pain is caused by the forceful movement during the injury. Severe pain and dramatically limited movement can be due to damaged muscles, nerves, discs, and joints.
Shoulder pain can easily be confused with head or neck pain. Considering all of the muscles that move both of these body parts, this is not surprising. Any forced issues can complicate pain and cause movement difficulties because the nerves are what make the muscles move. Car accidents can occur in many ways, not just rear-end collisions. A T-bone-style or side-impact car accident can knock the neck from side to side and cause muscle or rotator cuff strains.
Another symptom that is almost as common as neck and shoulder pain are headaches. Vital Wellness Center patients describe their post-whiplash headaches with the same terms they would use to describe any other headache. This is why we advise everyone with headaches following car accidents to get care immediately. Chronic headaches can be caused by damage to the nerves, muscles, and discs in the cervical neck if the injuries are not addressed quickly.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, following an auto accident can also result in headache symptoms. However, the most common form of TBI after an accident is a concussion. Causing short and sometimes long-term damage, concussions occur when the brain forcefully strikes the inside of the skull. Headache, vomiting, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and confusion are some early symptoms of TBI.
We advise our patients to seek emergency medical care since TBI is a real possibility after an auto accident. We also advise them to begin whiplash chiropractic care as soon as possible by coming in to see us at Vital Wellness Center.
Our Whiplash Chiropractor Can Help
We strongly believe that anyone with this type of injury should seek whiplash chiropractic care. When patients visit Vital Wellness Center, we perform a comprehensive battery of tests, scans, and assessments. This allows us to begin care quickly by detecting any issues as soon as possible.
Chiropractic medicine focuses on maximizing nerve function by correcting spinal misalignment, or subluxation, making chiropractic care an excellent choice. The nerves inside the spine are free to function as they are supposed to when a spinal subluxation is corrected, which allows them to carry sensation and instructions for movement between the brain and body.
Our experienced whiplash chiropractor, Dr. Foss, meticulously analyzes our patient’s symptoms, functions, and overall state of health before developing an individualized plan so that patients receive the care and results they want. Here at Vital Wellness Center, our whiplash chiropractor offers hands-on therapy, instrument-assisted manipulation, individualized exercise plans, and technology-assisted care.
Hands-On Chiropractic Care
The therapy our chiropractor at Vital Wellness Center performs most frequently is called spinal chiropractic adjustment. This directly addresses the spinal subluxations responsible for loss of function, pain, and other whiplash-related issues. During a chiropractic adjustment, Dr. Foss gently corrects spinal misalignment which restores normal nerve function.
Trigger point therapy is another form of hands-on chiropractic care. This therapy is performed when Dr. Foss releases tight or painful muscles by pressing his fingers at specific locations. In addition, he may manually stretch joints for additional relief.
One of the most popular pain relief options offered at Vital Wellness Center is therapeutic massage. This helps release tight shoulder, neck, and upper back muscles and also helps restore range of motion and relieve pain. It also provides increased circulation allowing oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to easily reach the injury location.
Another hands-on therapy that is gaining popularity with our patients is called active release. The goal of this therapy is to separate scar tissue from muscle tissue which can help restore function and reduce pain because scar tissue diminishes movement and causes painful stiffness.
Individualized Exercise Plans
Here at Vital Wellness Center, we want much more for our patients than pain relief or restoring muscle function. Even if a patient has found us by searching for a “whiplash chiropractor near me,” our top wish is excellent health for all our patients. From our experience, the best way to improve our patients’ physical, mental, and emotional wellness is through exercise.
Hitting the gym or taking a walk are both great ways to exercise, but healing from whiplash can be accelerated with targeted movement. We first assess our patients’ balance, stamina, and ability to move before prescribing a therapeutic exercise plan. Preferences, goals, and the amount of time our patients have to exercise are also important. At Vital Wellness Center, a patient’s physical condition and demands are considered when developing an individualized exercise plan. We also frequently re-evaluate their needs and redesign their plans to meet new goals as they progress.
New equipment is carefully researched before it enters our chiropractic office at Vital Wellness Center. Interferential electrical stimulation and ultrasound are some of the technology-assisted therapies we find most helpful. Using a low-frequency electrical current, interferential electrical stimulation helps reduce inflammation in the muscles. A therapy that uses sound waves to penetrate muscles is called ultrasound. This therapy can be used on areas affected by whiplash using warmth which increases circulation and decreases pain, stiffness, and muscle spasms.
Our chiropractor also uses deep tissue laser therapy which utilizes the power of light energy to trigger healing processes at the cellular level. Cells can halt inflammation and promote tissue healing when the mitochondria are optimized. This therapy helps increase muscle function and reduce pain.
Our whiplash chiropractor at Vital Wellness Center can help patients reduce inflammation and encourage recovery with laser therapy. This also helps with overall healing because inflammation causes more pain. Inflammation and pain go together in a recurring cycle because injured tissue causes inflammation which leads to pain and tissue damage. Restoring the body’s natural healing environment can be achieved through deep laser therapy.
Comprehensive Chiropractic Care For Whiplash
Vital Wellness Center is always reaching for new horizons in healthcare. We hope that you will look back at the time after a whiplash injury as a turning point when you decided to care for your well-being as if your life depended on it. Call our whiplash chiropractor today so that we can help improve your health as you recover from your injury.