What Is Whiplash – How Can You Treat It?
The term ‘whiplash’ is commonly used to describe an injury related to a sudden jolt to the body with a forwards and backwards or sideways movement of the head. This is often the result of a rear-end shunt from a motor vehicle which may occur at relatively low speeds. Whiplash is also known as CAD (cervical acceleration/deceleration). Before there were cars, it was called ‘railway spine’ as it was associated with train accidents.
Whiplash injuries can also occur after a slip or fall Whiplash associated disorder (WAD) describes the effects of the injury and the symptoms. Although the neck is primarily affected, injury may occur to the bones, muscles and nerves in other areas of the body.
The majority of whiplash injuries are not life threatening or serious. However, you may experience considerable pain and disability that might not be initially noticeable. Early intervention is recommended to limit the long term effects as well as keeping active.
Why did I not have symptoms straight after the accident?
There are tiny receptors in the muscles that give the brain information about how much the muscle is being stretched. During a sudden movement such as a car accident or a fall, the brain will not be able to tighten the muscles in time to help brace the joint in order to prevent injury. The muscles and ligaments will undergo excessive stretching causing damage. It may be some time before the micro tearing and compression to the joints becomes apparent. This is can happen after a car accident at low speeds.
What symptoms could I have?
The symptoms are various but the most common side effect is pain and restriction in the neck which may be accompanied by headaches, dizziness and tingling in the arms as well as pain and restriction in other joints. If the symptoms persist, there is often an emotional effect such as anxiety or depression. It can also difficult to sleep. However, in some people the symptoms are very mild and do not last more than a few hours.
Should I see a chiropractor?
Chiropractors are trained to look after joints and the supporting tissues. Having a chiropractic check for whiplash can help to restore alignment and alleviate pressure on the nerves and blood vessels. As well as chiropractic, we have the support of a sports and remedial massage therapist and a Pilates instructor to help with rehabilitation. Call Hiltingbury Chiropractic to find out how we may be able to help you on 023 8027 3545.