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Whiplash is basically an injury to the muscles, the muscle attachments (tendons), ligaments, and sometimes the nerves that exit the cervical spine. The degree of injury is highly variable and depends on many factors, some of which include gender/body size (slender-necked woman are especially at risk), awareness of the impending collision, head position at time of impact, the angle of the seat back (bent back is worse that upright), the position of the headrest (too low is common), the amount of vehicle damage (less damage can be worse due to energy transferred to the contents/occupants), the speed of the collision, and many others.
Therefore, when discussing the treatment approaches used by chiropractors, it is not appropriate to generalize since each case is so unique. With that said, when a whiplash patient visits a chiropractor, the first step is obtaining as much information as possible. A thorough history and examination are important in determining the treatment plan and help to determine the severity of the injury. Chiropractors often offer different types of treatment that may include manipulation, physical therapy modalities (such as muscle stimulation), relaxation, ultrasound, low-level laser therapy, cervical traction, and others. Spinal manipulation (often referred to as an adjustment) addresses joint dysfunction and can be performed with one of several approaches. A common approach uses a high-velocity, low-amplitude (quick) approach where joint cavitation (the “crack”) often occurs. Another approach is a low-velocity, low-amplitude technique where mobilization is used, which is more of a stretch to the end-range of intersegmental (between the vertebrae) motion, and rarely is there joint noise/cavitation. Varying degrees of “amplitude” or the degree of stretch can be used, depending on patient comfort.
Muscle relaxation or stimulation is performed for muscle dysfunction, which may include relaxation or stimulation techniques. Gentle stretches to a muscle that has excessive tightness or repeated contractions of a weak (“inhibited”) muscle are also commonly utilized and very helpful when muscle dysfunction is present.
Exercises are frequently prescribed by chiropractors. An example includes the McKenzie exercises, while others include stabilization and sensorimotor exercises. These are taught in a supervised manner and when it is safely performed and understood, they can be performed at home, work, or other places outside the office setting. Because of muscle spasms, joint dysfunction, and pain, patients often develop faulty postures or compromised movements that become “bad habits.” To break these “bad habit” positions/postures, stabilization and sensory-motor retraining exercises can be very helpful. These exercises retrain the nervous system to achieve better coordination and control movements and to maintain the stability of the weakened neck muscles.
Advice on bending/lifting/pulling/pushing and/or another home, recreational, or work-related activity is extremely important in order to avoid repeat exacerbations or “flare-ups”.
The chiropractic whiplash treatment plan is unique for every individual person given the significant number of variables initially discussed. One or more of the approaches discussed may be utilized. If needed, chiropractors often partner with other doctors if there are medication or surgical requirements.
So, if you have had a car accident in Fort Myers and you have neck pain, dizziness, vertigo, or imbalance and type in pain management near me, whiplash, or even car accident lawyer you may find Coast Chiropractic Centers with Dr. Timothy Harcourt, me, comes up.
You may wonder, “Do I need an MRI scan of my neck or back.
Also, if you feel arm or leg pain it may indicate things are getting worse and” may indicate a bulge on the disc or worse yet a herniated disc in your neck and/or back. Shoulder pain is very common with whiplash and could require conservative treatment right away to avoid injections or worse yet, surgery. A foggy brain may indicate a mild traumatic brain injury. Persistent or worsening pain intensity and/or frequency necessitates a visit to see a professional.
Call me, Dr. Tim Harcourt, at (239) 278-3344 and we will submit the bills to your auto carrier for payment.
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