Symptoms and Treatments for Whiplash
Whiplash is strongly associated with auto accidents, but it can actually result from anything that causes the head to bobble, or "whip," forwards and backward with great force. This means that if you have been in any such situation, you may suffer from its symptoms and should suspect it as the cause. Take a look at this animation if you believe you have whiplash.
A Pain in the Neck
This isn't just a saying when it comes to whiplash – it's the primary sign. Damage to the ligaments, vertebrae, and spinal discs in the neck often causes pain right where the damage actually happened. Pain also typically affects the shoulders.
If you have this sort of pain, you'll become immediately aware of the fact that you move – or try to move – your head hundreds of times each day. Since the pain of whiplash can be strong enough to stop you from being able to make these moves, it is sometimes a truly debilitating condition. Sometimes, it can even be dangerous. If you try to drive while you can't turn your head to check the blind spots, your chances of getting into another accident are quite high. The same is true if you're in an industrial environment and can't look around for hazards.
Since many nerves go through the cervical spine, you may feel pain in completely unrelated areas. This is because when those nerves are inflamed or damaged, they tend to report pain as coming from the parts they lead to instead of where the actual damage is. Such pain often shows itself later on – sometimes weeks or months after the original accident. A chiropractor can determine the true origin of this pain and recommend the right course of action.
How a Chiropractor Typically Approaches Treatment
Since this injury directly involves the vertebrae of the neck and their associated structures, it makes perfect sense to have it treated by a chiropractor in Charlotte. The doctor will take x-rays and feel your neck to determine exactly where the damage lies. Then, he'll use spinal manipulation and other methods, over several sessions, to get everything realigned. Other treatments will be included to address co-existing issues and help provide immediate pain relief.
The number of sessions needed will depend on the severity of your injury, and full relief can be expected at the end of the course of treatment. It should not take too long to feel the initial improvements, though: some report improvement after only one or two appointments.
If you suspect that you have whiplash, give us a call to set up an appointment here in Charlotte NC. We're Gallagher Chiropractic and Wellness, and our number is (704) 542-6500.