Whiplash is an injury of the cervical spine that commonly occurs following a motor vehicle accident and more specifically, a rear end collision. Just as the name implies, the cervical spine is forced backward and then forward in a manner similar to the motion of someone cracking a whip. This forced motion can promote spine, ligaments and muscles beyond their normal range of motion.
Symptoms of whiplash:
- Neck, mid back and lower back pain and stiffness
- Pain in arms and legs
- Numbness, tingling and weakness in arms or legs
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty concentrating, Memory problems and Ringing in the ears
- Sleep disturbances
Predisposing Activities: automobile accidents, trauma including physical abuse and sports injuries
Predisposing Congenital Structures: Women seem to be more prone to more extensive whiplash injuries than men
Diagnosis of Whiplash: a thorough exam will be performed to best asses the nature of a whiplash injury. In addition, the following tools are commonly used:
- X-ray is imaging used to rule out complications such as fractures and dislocations.
- Computerized tomography (CT) is more detailed set of images to asses bone and soft tissue.
- MRI scans are useful for detecting injuries to the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots
Treatment Options: Over the counter or prescription medication may be used in the intial stages of injury to control pain. Even so, active care and rehabilitative interventions are the foundation of treatment for whiplash. One of the following may be used:
- Ice and/or heat
- Stretching and strengthening exercises specific to the patient and injury
- Spinal manipulation/mobilization and traction
- Advanced soft tissue techniques
- Electric stimulation
- Low level laser therapy
Carone Chiropractic Center is well versed on treating whiplash. Utilizing the latest in conservative interventions while coordinating with your medical doctor.