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Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash is most often associated with car accidents since it is one of the most common injuries sustained by patients who have been involved in a vehicle collision. However, this isn’t the only way in which whiplash can occur. Slips, trips, and falls can also cause the hyperextension of the neck muscles which can result in whiplash. Unfortunately, whiplash is also often overlooked since the symptoms don’t always appear right away. Often masked by shock and adrenalin, it can take hours or even several days for the signs of whiplash to become noticeable. One of the most effective ways to relieve the effects is to seek treatment from a chiropractor.


Causes of whiplash

As we know, whiplash most often occurs as a result of being in a car accident. While any sort of collision can cause it, it is most often seen in rear-end crashes, which is where one vehicle plows into the back of another. The force caused by a rear-end collision causes the neck and head to rapidly jolt back and forth, hyper-extending the muscles, ligaments, and other connective tissues that extend through the neck. This hyperextension can cause dozens of micro-injuries that then require time to heal. Until this time, the patient may experience a range of unpleasant and potentially debilitating symptoms.


Signs and symptoms of whiplash

Although you may notice some symptoms of whiplash immediately following your accident, for most patients, the signs that they have suffered this type of injury will develop slowly over the following 24-48 hours. Some of the symptoms of whiplash that you should look out for include:


- Pain in your neck

- Neck stiffness

- Limited ability to move your head side to side or up and down

- Pain and muscle spasms in the neck, shoulders, and upper back/arms

- Dizziness

- Headaches or migraines

- Blurred vision

- Excessive fatigue

- Vertigo

- Ringing in the ears


Many people who experience whiplash find that their symptoms are severe enough to cause them to miss work, resulting in lost productivity, loss of income, and in some cases, temporary disability. Fortunately, prompt diagnosis and treatment can help to accelerate the patient’s recovery.


How can chiropractic treatment help overcome whiplash?

Many people who suffer from whiplash go to visit their family doctor. Unfortunately, doctors are only able to prescribe medications such as pain relief and anti-inflammatories to help cope with the symptoms until the injury is healed. Instead, patients would achieve greater benefit from visiting a chiropractor. Chiropractors are trained and experienced in diagnosing and treating conditions like whiplash that affect the bones, muscles, and connective tissues in our bodies. This means that they can quickly diagnose whiplash and recommend the most effective chiropractic treatments to alleviate the symptoms that you are experiencing and support your body to heal itself.


There are several different chiropractic techniques that can be used to help alleviate whiplash. The most well-known are chiropractic adjustments, also called manipulations, which involve your chiropractor using a hands-on approach to realign your spine. This enables any pockets of tension to be released, which in turn improves circulation, stimulates the body to heal itself, and speeds up your recovery. Manipulations also reduce inflammation, which helps to relieve patient discomfort without using pain medications.


Most patients will benefit from a series of chiropractic appointments. Your chiropractor will be able to advise you how many you are likely to need and give you more information about how chiropractic treatment can support your recovery.



To find out more about whiplash or how chiropractic care can help, please get in touch with Utah Health Center's knowledgeable team today at (801) 666-2300.



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