Most people realize that car accidents can cause whiplash. The sudden stopping motion causes the head to whip backward and reflex forward in a harsh, unnatural manner. Other actions that cause whiplash include physical attack and contact sports, such as football, soccer and rugby. A “head banger,” or a person who whips his head back and forth forcibly while dancing to music, may inflict whiplash upon himself. Some amusement rides, such as roller coasters, can cause whiplash.
Hyperextension and hyperflexion are the technical terms that doctors use when discussing whiplash. Hyperextension occurs when the head snaps back and hyperflexion happens when the head snaps forward. These motions stretch and often tear the neck muscles and ligaments. In severe cases, they damage the discs between the vertebrae in the neck area.
Premier Health Chiropractors use several different spinal manipulation techniques, depending upon the injury, the stage of healing and other factors. Sometimes we use the flexion-distraction technique, which is a massage-like spinal manipulation. Sometimes chiropractors use a hand-held instrument to apply force near the spine. Other techniques include stimulating neck muscles using a low frequency electrical current and using ultrasound treatments to relieve stiffness.
Chiropractors treat muscle, ligament and joint damage whereas medical doctors often prescribe medications to manage the pain. By lessening the pain, the injured person is masking the true problem of the whiplash damage. Generally, a person recovers quicker under chiropractic care. Chiropractors are doctors. All Premier Health Chiropractors have a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) instead of a Doctor of Medicine (MD). Government agencies hold Chiropractors to the same high standards of ethics as medical doctors.
Sometimes, people do not realize that they have whiplash. Because we focus on the spine and spinal disorders, we often diagnose the problem instead of masking it. Frequently, when a patient answers the chiropractor’s questions, our doctors can find the cause of the injury. This may be a skating accident, a fall while horseback riding, a work injury or another event. Even if our doctors cannot pinpoint the cause, we will be able to diagnose it from the diagnostic tests, such as x-rays.
Many medical doctors do not deem whiplash to be a legitimate problem. Insurance companies, lawyers and other officials often make it difficult for victims to get compensation for whiplash injuries. Most chiropractors are experienced as legal witnesses for victims. Generally, if we feel we do not have the expertise for a particular situation, we can refer our patients to those who do. Here is a link to more information on the Whiplash Resource Network.
If you’ve been experiencing whiplash, contact the good doctors of Premier Health Chiropractors today for a whiplash consultation.