People experience neck pain for many reasons, but a neck pain and whiplash treatment commonly helps reduce the discomfort. If you are in a car accident or sustain a sports injury, you may have whiplash. Whiplash is often a result of a severe jolt of the neck and head that move in a sudden back and forth motion.
Whiplash may cause dizziness, headache, muscle spasms, stiffness and a reduction in the neck's range of motion. A chiropractor can determine if you have whiplash during an appointment.
If a patient is unsure he or she has whiplash, a chiropractor can perform a simple head and neck examination that will provide an official diagnosis. During the exam, the chiropractor may feel the patient’s head, neck and upper arms in a few different places to check for any bruising, inflammation or sensitivities. The chiropractor may also check the patient’s reflexes and strength, which will reveal any possible injuries.
We will also test the range of motion in the neck and shoulders. Any pain or tenderness throughout the examination should be reported to the chiropractor so she can better determine the extent of the injury. In addition to whiplash, the chiropractor will be examined the patient for signs of a more severe injury like broken bones or damaged ligaments.
In order to do this, X-rays, CT scans and MRIs may be necessary. X-rays will tell the chiropractor if there are any fractures or dislocations in the neck, spine or shoulders. A CT scan can provide a more detailed X-ray with cross-sectional images. An MRI can help determine if there are any soft tissue injuries.
Neck pain and whiplash treatment
If we determine that the patient has whiplash but no broken bones, we will recommend a treatment for whiplash. Since most cases of whiplash do not leave any long-term damage, treatment will be non-invasive and aim to control any pain or inflammation the patient is experiencing. Some chiropractic adjustments may also be necessary along with some exercise recommendations. Both of these options will help to restore normal range of motion to the head and neck.
Treatment for pain may include icing or heating the area, taking over-the-counter NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs), pain relievers, prescribed muscle relaxants or injections. If more adjustments to the neck area are necessary, we will help schedule additional appointments. If it appears there is a more serious injury, like a fracture, we will create a more intensive treatment plan.
The treatment process takes time
Experiencing a head or neck injury like whiplash requires a few weeks of healing and recovery. With pain relievers, chiropractic care and possible massage or physical therapy, we can help restore the normal range of motion. If you think you have whiplash or you are in an accident that might cause an injury, you should plan to see a chiropractor as soon as possible.
It is possible to sustain an injury without even realizing it. Thus, receiving an examination just to be on the safe side is a wise decision. For a neck pain and whiplash treatment, schedule an appointment with our office today.