Whiplash injury, often the result of motor vehicle collisions, is caused by the jerk of the head in the sudden stop of the vehicle. Studies have shown that the most extensive whiplash injuries happen when the victim’s vehicle sustains a rear-end collision.
Whiplash generally causes a breakdown in joint function, in which a joint in the spine or limbs lose normal resiliency and ability to absorb shock. This leads to restrictions in the patient’s range of movement and, sometimes, endless pain.
Because each case of whiplash is different, treatment should be individualized according to the patient’s health needs. To help heal, a Ft. Lauderdale chiropractor will employ several methods, including muscle manipulation, relaxation and stimulation, as well as exercises and changes to lifestyle.
Spinal manipulation involves gently moving the joint into the direction in which it is restricted, to help it gain back its resiliency. This could involve a short thrust or a slow movement, depending on the degree of injury. If the muscle is very tight, the chiropractor may apply more of a stretch to bring the muscle back to its proper level of function. Tight muscles can also be relaxed through gentle pressure and massage.
A series of exercises called McKenzie exercises, consisting of movements that the chiropractor can show you in the office, can also be done at home. McKenzie exercises are specifically designed to reduce disc instability caused by the whiplash injury. The McKenzie method of physical therapy extends the spine to move the pain away from the arm or leg.
Other whiplash treatment methods include helping the patient to move better through various methods and exercises, all geared toward improving the stability of the neck muscles.
Above all, a skilled chiropractor, also an expert in lifestyle and nutrition, can help patients employ better methods of sitting, standing and walking, resulting in the least amount of stress on the body. A chiropractor will assess all factors of the patient’s life that make the dysfunction worse, and then advise on how to make necessary lifestyle changes.
Don’t put more stress on your system – help yourself after a car accident by seeking the healing hands of a chiropractor. Your muscles will be glad you did.