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By East Hill Medical |    Feb 22, 2018

Chiropractic Care and Whiplash Following an Auto Accident

Chiropractic Care and Whiplash Following an Auto Accident

Auto accidents are scary, and the healing process that follows can be confusing, expensive, and long. Seeing a chiropractor after you’ve been in an accident can sometimes help you better understand your injuries so that you can seek care at an affordable cost while avoiding invasive procedures and addictive pain medication. Chiropractic care looks at the whole person, not just the part of the body sustaining an injury. Because of this whole-body approach, chiropractic patients may experience relief in multiple areas of the body, allowing them to increase their range of motion in daily activities.

Oftentimes, several visits to a chiropractor may be all you need to adequately care for your injuries, reducing effects of trauma long-term. Whiplash is a common auto-accident injury that can be diagnosed and treated by a chiropractor without ever having to consider surgery.

Whiplash is an injury caused by rapid forward and backward motion of the neck due to some sort of trauma such as a hard impact or car accident. It can cause restricted movement in the neck and spine and lead to long-term pain if not cared for properly and in a timely manner. If you think you might have whiplash, you should see a chiropractor for a proper diagnosis.

To diagnose whiplash, the chiropractor will evaluate your entire spine, not just the neck, to make sure other regions of the spine are not affected. Any areas that have restricted range of movement, joint restriction, intervertebral or ligament injury, or muscle spasm are identified by the chiropractor. The muscles surrounding your spine and  joints will also be evaluated for tightness and soreness. The chiropractor will ask you to stand up and walk so that he/she can analyze your posture and alignment as you walk. An X-ray or MRI may be taken to better evaluate any changes in your spinal discs that occurred prior to the whiplash injury.

It is a good idea to see a chiropractor about your whiplash soon after you have experienced the trauma. This is because the whiplash is still in the acute phase where the chiropractor can work to reduce neck inflammation through stretching and other therapy techniques. Reducing the neck’s inflammation will also help with pain reduction. As the inflammation and pain decrease, it is easier for the chiropractor to perform gentle spinal manipulation and other restorative techniques to return the neck’s spinal joints to a normal range of motion.

After you have been diagnosed with whiplash by your chiropractor, you will receive a treatment plan. The plan is individualized, depending upon the severity of your injury. Usually, patients will receive some sort of spinal manipulation therapy. Some spinal manipulation techniques such as flexion-distraction and therapeutic massage, are hands-on while others such as instrument-assisted manipulation, which is just how it sounds-using a specialized hand-held instrument to target spinal joints. Patients may be asked to practice therapeutic exercises at home to facilitate the healing process.

If you have been in an auto accident and would prefer a natural approach to healing your injuries, you should see a chiropractor as soon as possible. Chiropractors understand the trauma that incurs following a spinal injury. When you visit a chiropractor, you will be evaluated for any injuries that occurred before your auto-accident as well as any future complications that could arise due to your present condition. Chiropractic care is thorough, non-invasive, and preventative-a great option for healing after a traumatic injury.

Learn more about our Auto-Accident Care & Treatments