Whiplash injuries are among the most common injuries caused by car accidents that affect the spine. If your car was rear-ended, you could have whiplash even if you do not detect any neck pain right away. This is because the symptoms of whiplash injuries often develop one to two days after the accident. To support your recovery, consider visiting a chiropractor in San Jose, CA, as soon as possible after a car accident.
What symptoms does whiplash involve?
Whiplash is a collection of symptoms that arises from damage to the delicate structures of the neck, including the nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Whiplash is most often indicated by neck pain, stiffness, and loss of range of motion. For example, you may find it too painful to turn your head very far. Some people experience dizziness, ringing in the ears, headaches, and fatigue.
Is there a potential for long-term problems?
Most cases of whiplash do resolve, especially when the patient seeks treatment at a family chiropractic clinic. However, some patients develop chronic problems that can persist for months or longer. They may suffer from chronic neck pain and stiffness, headaches, confusion, irritability, and sleep disturbances, for example.
How will my chiropractor diagnose whiplash?
Your chiropractor will ask you some questions about your medical history, symptoms, and the car accident. Based on your answers, he or she should be able to make a preliminary diagnosis of whiplash. However, chiropractors tend to be quite thorough and you can expect yours to evaluate the health of your entire spine. Your chiropractor may evaluate your posture and spinal alignment, assess your body mechanics as you move, and perform motion and static palpations to identify problematic areas.
How can chiropractors treat whiplash injuries?
During the initial stage of whiplash recovery, you may suffer from moderate to severe neck pain. Because of this, the chiropractor will only use very gentle, non-thrusting techniques initially, such as instrument-assisted manipulation and the flexion-distraction technique. Later, your chiropractor may use gentle thrusting techniques to correct subluxations, and restore proper motion and function to the joint.