Whiplash is an injury to the neck after very forceful, back-and-forth, or side to side movement. It can occur due to car accidents, contact sports, trauma such as a blow to the head or a fall, and even after physical assault or abuse. The most notable whiplash injury symptom in West Bloomfield, MI is head and neck pain. However, there can be a multitude of other symptoms associated with whiplash injury.
Neck pain, stiffness, and loss of range of motion
The most common complaint after a head and neck injury is stiffness and pain in the neck. This is usually because of a tendon or muscle sprain or strain. While most people heal from this kind of whiplash injury symptom in a matter of weeks, some go on to have chronic pain for months or even years, if left untreated.
A loss of range of motion most commonly occurs in the neck, due to the same damage causing pain and stiffness. Sprained or strained muscles and tendons often swell and limit mobility in those areas. A patient dealing with this symptom may be unable to move their head and neck as they normally could for a few weeks.
These symptoms usually heal up on their own in a matter of time. However, the process can be quickened with effective chiropractic treatments such as massage, exercise, and electric muscle stimulation.
Also, usually due to muscle and tendon damage, many whiplash injury sufferers complain of headaches. These headaches most often occur at the base of the skull and can range from dull to intense and throbbing. This is a common whiplash injury symptom.
Chiropractors can treat headaches by using techniques to relieve pressure and align the body. Such treatments include massage, spinal alignment, and suggested changes to physical lifestyle while healing.
Tenderness or pain in the shoulders or upper back
Due to the nature of whiplash injury, the body is moved at a rate faster than it can respond. This forceful, jerking movement can also affect the muscles and tendons connecting the head, neck, and shoulders. As with a sprained or strained neck, these muscles and tendons may become inflamed.
Inflammation is often treated with NSAIDs such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. But non-invasive treatments like chiropractic massage, spinal alignment, heat and cold therapy, and electric muscle stimulation can speed up the recovery process.
Traumatic brain injury
Due to the force of the incident causing a whiplash injury, often the brain is at risk of being injured as well. The resulting traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when the whiplash injury causes the brain to move inside of the skull. The brain is injured by the impact, and hematomas or swelling may occur. While most TBIs are mild (concussions), rarely, they may be more severe and cause brain damage and loss of functioning.
Difficulty concentrating, memory problems and irritability
Many whiplash injury symptoms are caused by the injury’s effect on the brain itself. Because whiplash may cause individuals to sustain concussions (or mild TBIs) these patients may develop cognitive functioning symptoms. These can include difficulty concentrating, memory problems, irritability, confusion, and even problems sleeping. When these symptoms persist, the patient may be diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome.
Chiropractors can help treat this syndrome by using practices that focus on the symptoms themselves. These include rehabilitative exercises and alignment of the cervical section of the spine. This alignment can reduce pressure on the nerves and allow spinal fluid to drain from the area more efficiently.
Other whiplash injury symptoms
While these are some of the most common, there are many other symptoms associated with whiplash injury. This includes fatigue, dizziness, blurred or impaired vision, tingling or numbness, ringing in the ears, and various aches, pains, and soreness.
Treatment for whiplash injury symptoms
Chiropractors are expertly trained in the assessment and treatment of whiplash injury and whiplash injury symptoms. Using rehabilitative therapies, spinal alignment, chiropractic massage, electrical nerve stimulation, and individualized exercise plans, these professionals can help patients regain motion and flexibility and decrease pain.
Through gentle, non-invasive chiropractic care, patients can receive the best whiplash injury symptom treatment, and go on to live normal, pain-free lives.