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What is whiplash?

The term “whiplash” refers to when your head is rapidly jerked and moved backwards, forwards or sideways. The extreme nature of this motion makes your neck move beyond its normal range of movement, which in turn over stretches your ligaments, tendons and muscles.

Unlike a broken bone where a simple x-ray can validate the presence of the fracture and identify suitable medical treatments, whiplash injuries involve an unpredictable combination of nervous system, muscles joints and connective tissue disruption which are difficult to diagnose and treat.

Some of the most common causes of whiplash include:

  • automotive accidents,
  • a sudden blow to the head,
  • a slip or fall wherein your head is suddenly jerked,
  • being struck on the head by a heavy object,
  • sports related injuries.

After an incident such as these, the symptoms of whiplash may take between 6 and 12 hours to develop. It is common for whiplash sufferers to feel more severe neck stiffness or pain the day after the accident; pain which may continue to escalate in the following days.

Whiplash and auto injury

What are the symptoms of Whiplash?

If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, it is advisable you seek treatment for a whiplash injury:

  • neck pain and stiffness,
  • tenderness over your neck muscles,
  • reduced and painful neck movements,
  • headaches,
  • lower back pain,
  • pain, numbness or pins and needles in your arms and hands,
  • muscle spasms,
  • dizziness,
  • tiredness,
  • blurred vision,
  • vertigo (i.e. the sensation that you are moving or spinning whilst standing still).

Fortunately, with sufficient care, whiplash injuries can be significantly healed within 6 to 9 months. However, if left untreated, over 20% of whiplash sufferers continue to experience pain, weakness or restricted movement two years after their accident.

How Spinal Care Clinics can help treat whiplashclick to read more

To avoid a whiplash injury escalating into a permanent condition, it is recommended you undergo a combination of chiropractic care, rehabilitation of the soft tissues and home care, all under the supervision of professional healthcare practitioners.

Chiropractic care has proven to be an extremely effective treatment method for whiplash. At Spinal Care Clinics, we utilise manual manipulation of the spine to restore the normal movement and position of your spinal vertebrae.  This treatment has been proven to drastically  minimise the long-term impact of whiplash injuries, especially when coupled with sports massage therapy, exercise rehabilitation and soft tissue rehabilitation. Supplementary home care soft tissue rehabilitation treatments can also provide alleviation from pain and aid nerve and muscle rehabilitation.

These treatments include:

  • applying ice packs to the affected area,
  • limiting your work and daily activities,
  • undergoing specific stretches and exercises,
  • taking nutritional supplements,
  • getting plenty of rest.
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