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Chiropractics for Whiplash: What to Expect

Dec 05, 2022

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Chiropractics for Whiplash: What to Expect

About 2 million Americans suffer whiplash injuries every year, mostly as a result of car accidents, sports injuries, or falls. While you might think it’s a relatively minor injury, whiplash can have long-lasting effects that take a toll on your comfort as well as your daily activities.

Whiplash isn’t just about neck pain. It can cause a wealth of symptoms involving your nerves, muscles, and other tissues. Custom therapy is critical for finding relief from your symptoms and preventing them from getting worse.

At Body Balance Chiropractic & Wellness CenterShawn Taher, DC, and his team treat whiplash injuries in patients from Houston, Texas, using a patient-centered approach for optimal results. Here’s how whiplash injuries happen and how chiropractic care can help.

How whiplash happens

Whiplash is appropriately named: it happens when your head snaps back and forth violently, like the lash or crack of a whip. That sharp movement can be caused by a direct impact on your head or body, but it can also be caused by an indirect impact from a fall or car accident, for instance.

The rapid back-and-forth movement of your head can cause a variety of injuries, including injuries to the muscles, spinal joints, spinal discs, ligaments, and nerves. In turn, these injuries can cause an array of symptoms, which can include:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness or immobility
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Pain radiating into the arms and upper back
  • Burning or tingling sensations in the neck or arms

Some patients may also experience problems with memory or concentration, moodiness, fatigue, and sleep disturbances.

Whiplash symptoms can appear right after an accident, but they often take some time to develop fully. Having a medical evaluation early on helps reduce the impact of your injuries, as well as your symptoms.

Chiropractic treatment for whiplash

Chiropractors are skilled in multiple therapies, and a skilled chiropractor like Dr. Taher can customize each therapy plan to the individual patient’s injuries, symptoms, and treatment goals. Your treatment plan may focus on one therapy, or it may include several therapies, like the ones listed here.

Spinal adjustment

Spinal adjustment uses hands-on techniques (sometimes assisted by instruments) to realign your vertebrae and spine joints, relieving nerve irritation and compression that often happen with whiplash injuries. Your adjustment may focus only on your neck or on your entire spine, depending on your symptoms. 

Massage therapy

Massage therapy focuses on relieving stiff muscles while promoting circulation for better healing. Chiropractic massage uses special hands-on techniques to reduce painful symptoms while improving mobility, too.

Trigger point therapy

Better known as “muscle knots,” trigger points are tender, localized areas of muscle tissue that feel hard to the touch. These areas of muscle are extremely tight and a common source of pain following many types of injuries. Dr. Taher uses massage to gently release muscle knots to restore normal function in the muscle and the area surrounding it.

Spinal decompression

Whiplash injuries frequently involve nerve impingement, especially when nerves exit the neck joints or when a disc slips out of its normal place. Spinal decompression gently stretches your spine to alleviate nerve irritation and the symptoms it can cause.

Lifestyle guidance

Many people are surprised to learn that their personal and workplace habits may exacerbate their pain. Our team works closely with each patient to understand these habits, providing guidance that can help you learn new, healthy ways to work and play. Some techniques may focus on relieving stress that can lead to muscle spasms.

Depending on your symptoms and how you respond to therapy, your plan might include pain medicines and other types of therapy in addition to the therapies listed above.

Relief for whiplash symptoms

Whiplash is a relatively common injury, but that doesn’t mean it’s not serious. Seeking prompt medical care is the key to feeling better now and avoiding problems later on. To learn how we can help, call 281-890-5599 or book an appointment online with the team at Body Balance Chiropractic & Wellness Center today.

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