When a person experiences an auto injury such as whiplash, their musculoskeletal system is whipped out of proper alignment due to the force of the accident. This causes pain in the back and neck. The immediate course of action involving an auto injury such as whiplash is to consult with a qualified and experienced chiropractor.
The right chiropractic treatment is unique to every whiplash injury that is sustained. These are directed at the primary dysfunctions which are usually detected during the chiropractic exam. But there are a few treatments for whiplash that chiropractors commonly employ such as:
- The most basic chiropractic treatment for whiplash is spinal manipulation, which involves the joint to be gently moved into the direction in which it is restricted. This is also called chiropractic adjustment and may involve a short thrust to be applied in that direction. In some cases, a slow mobilizing movement is used instead of a thrust.
Muscle relaxation and/or stimulation
- To treat muscle dysfunction and to aid relaxation and/or stimulation, a chiropractor gently stretches the muscle with excessive tension or repeated contractions of the muscle that is inhibited. A chiropractor may apply a more vigorous stretch if the muscle is extremely tight. To relieve pain associated with the tightening of muscles, a chiropractor might apply gentle finger pressure to trigger points.
- There are many different exercises that chiropractors use to treat patients with whiplash injuries. Two of the most common are McKenzie exercises and stabilization/sensorimotor exercises. McKenzie exercises help reduce the disc derangement that is related to a whiplash injury. Stabilization/sensorimotor exercises are designed to correct erroneous movement patterns in everyday life and routine activities.
Ergonomic and lifestyle changes
Finally, the chiropractor may suggest certain ergonomic and lifestyle improvements that the patient can make so that everyday activities have minimal strain on their bodies. Factors in the patient’s workplace, home or their recreational activities which may further perpetuate dysfunctions are taken into consideration. Spinal care professionals also teach the patient better “use of self” and stress reduction techniques to keep chiropractic problems at bay.