Whiplash - Symptoms and Care
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a sudden forcible bending of the neck one way and then the other. This can affect multiple structures within the neck including the muscles, discs, nerves, tendons, and joints.
Typical symptoms include:
Low back pain
Pain or numbness in the arm or hand
Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
Problems with memory or concentration (brainfog)
What can cause Whiplash?
Whiplash is very often caused by road traffic accidents, usually when there is sudden acceleration or deceleration causing the head and neck to jerk back and forth. Most often it occurs during a rear-end motor vehicle collision. Other modes of onset include high impact contact sports such as rugby or american football. Symptoms will have some crossover with symptoms of concussion as mentioned in our previous blog which you can read here https://www.topchiropractic.co.uk/concussion/
What happens to the Cervical Spine?
During the whiplash injury the joints of the cervical spine (neck) will be placed under enormous strain causing localised inflammation and the possibility of misalignment. In extreme cases fractures can occur so it is very important to have the neck assessed correctly using high quality imaging to identify these pathologies.
Due to the strain placed on the neck during whiplash the muscles supporting the neck and head will often go into spasm. This is for two reasons, firstly the muscles are trying to stabilise the cervical spine to protect the joints and nerves. Secondly the muscles themselves may have been overstretched causing stress and local inflammation.
The role of the Upper Cervical Specialist
As Upper Cervical Chiropractors we specialise in analysing the neck and correcting any issues we find, in particular misalignments of the spinal joints. We use high quality 3D imaging to assess the structural integrity of the neck and rule out any fractures or complications from the injury. From this we can then start to make corrections to make sure the cervical spine is functioning properly and allowing it the best chance to heal.
Most people recover from whiplash in a number of weeks or months, however, some cases of whiplash can persist longer than expected especially if they are not correctly assessed early on. Chronic cases of whiplash can still recover, however the sooner people seek help the quicker they tend to recover. If you or somebody you know has suffered a whiplash, book a call with one of our Chiropractors and find out more about how we can help!