If you have suffered a whiplash-type injury to the neck, chiropractic care is a good choice to reduce pain and return proper mechanics to the cervical spine.
To understand the chiropractic treatment of whiplash injuries, it is important to briefly review the nature of this type of neck injury. Whiplash is characterized as an injury to the muscles of the neck from the traumatic rapid forward and backward motion of the neck during an accident.
Chiropractic emphasizes a comprehensive picture of the mechanisms of neck sprain. As important as muscle injury is the response of the nervous system to trauma, and the injury to deeper tissues of the spine with resulting restriction or fixation of spinal joints.
The acute pain and restricted motion you experience after a whiplash injury is a product of injured tissue, and the protective response of the nervous system as it locks up spinal joints to protect you from possible injury to the spinal cord.Chiropractic care emphasizes mobilizing restricted spinal joints and initiating rapid firing of neurological receptors using spinal manipulation, including non-force and flexion-distraction techniques. We here at Romo Chiropractic will address the disturbed mechanics and the neurological responses that allow for treating the cause of neck injury and return a full functioning to injured spinal joints.
It is important to emphasize that spinal manipulation is introduced by Romo Chiropractor only when the initial traumatic muscle injury is stabilized. Dr. Edgar Romo will be using various types of treatments depending on the stage of your whiplash injury.
The Stages of Whiplash Treatment
Shortly after the injury, in the acute phase, the chiropractor will concentrate on reducing inflammation with therapy modalities, such as diathermy, and, if indicated, gentle stretching and manual therapies, such as myofascial release. Ice will be recommended and sometimes a light neck support might be prescribed for a short period of time.
As the neck begins to be less inflamed and acute, Romo Chiropractic will utilize gentle spinal manipulation, or adjusting, in order to return motion to spinal joints that have locked up and become restricted as a result of the injury. In some patients, non-thrusting and non-force methods are more appropriate, including Cox flexion-distraction technique.
Chiropractic Care and Whiplash
Chiropractors are doctors who specialize in the care of non-surgical conditions of the neck with gentle, time-saving approaches that address the mechanical and neurological causes of whiplash injury.
Chiropractors are rigorously trained to diagnosis the different types of neck injuries. We will take an extensive history and provide a comprehensive examination to determine what tissues have been injured in an accident and what spinal joints may be restricted in motion.
The goal of chiropractic care in treating whiplash injuries is to optimize motion in the spine, treat the spinal discs, reduce muscle spasm and improve muscular strength.
Chiropractors are specialists in spinal manipulation -- an active, hands-on care that returns motion to the spine. The restricted motion and disturbed mechanics that characterize whiplash injuries are especially helped by spinal manipulation in patients who are considered good candidates for this approach.
How a Chiropractor Diagnoses Whiplash Injury
Even if you go to the chiropractor complaining of neck pain following an accident, we will evaluate your spine as a whole. Romo Chiropractic will check your neck (cervical spine), mid-back (thoracic spine), and low back (lumbar spine). It's important to examine the entire spine because even though it's just your neck that hurts, other regions of the spine may be affected.
Romo Chiropractics will determine areas of restricted joint motion, disc injury, muscle spasm, and ligament injury. One way the chiropractor does that is through motion and static palpation, diagnostic techniques unique to chiropractic. Motion and static palpation is an examination by means of touch. The chiropractor will feel for tenderness, tightness, and how well each spinal joint moves.
We will also analyze how you walk and look at your overall posture and spinal alignment. Those details will help your chiropractor understand your body mechanics and how well your spine is working and moving.
You'll also go through your past medical history with the Dr. Romo. We might consider taking x-rays of your spine taken to evaluate possible degenerative changes, or an MRI if it is indicated.
After the examination, we will be better able to create an effective treatment plan for your neck pain. Possible Chiropractic Treatment Approaches for Treating Whiplash Injuries
The exact treatment plan depends on your diagnosis. Your chiropractor may use a type of spinal manipulation, or spinal adjustment, to improve joint motion and soft tissue health.