Whiplash Pain

Whiplash and Wellness: Chiropractic Insights on Auto Injuries

By: Dean Lombardo, DC

What happens during impact:

Being in a car accident often results in injuries that cause lingering pain, stiffness, headaches, and reduced mobility. Immediately after the collision when minutes, hours, and days are critical to how the body heals. Finally, there are long-term effects that can last a lifetime for some people.

If you were taken to the hospital:

While emergency medical treatment is critical right after a collision. Beginning drug free rehabilitative care is highly recommended for resolving auto accident injuries fully.

Many Walk Away from the Accident Though Feel Worse Later:

If injuries aren’t severe enough to require immediate hospitalization, They are not generally treated right after an accident.

Minor or severe symptoms can develop days or weeks following the accident and can be disabling.

What Happens Immediately After a Car Accident:

The first thing you should do immediately is seek treatment.

Common Auto Injury Symptoms:

Some common auto injuries include but are not limited too:

  • Upper Back Pain
  • Mid Back Pain
  • Low Back Pain
  • Neuropathy
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Nervousness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sleep difficulties

The Mechanism of Whiplash:

One of the most common injuries in rear-end collisions is whiplash. This neck injury occurs from the head jolting backward then forward suddenly, stretching neck tissues beyond their normal range.If left untreated, whiplash can result in problems that worsen and never completely heal. This is due to the fact that neck joints are frequently misaligned as a result.

Whiplash Injuries

After Whiplash Injury, Spinal Misalignment:

Muscles are in spasm, Ligaments are injured which results in misalignment

  • Whiplash: If left in this condition, the injured segments of the spine begin to fuse, becoming arthritic which is permanent
  • Loss of normal movement leads to…
  • Changes in how all tissues involved are stressed and replenished, which causes…
  • Chemical changes within those tissues and…
  • Predisposes them to mechanical failure giving us..,
  • A good reason to restore normal movement through spinal adjustment

Whiplash Injuries Respond Well to Chiropractic:

  • Highly specific spinal manipulations realign vertebrae and improve overall neck mobility. This also takes direct pressure off pinched nerves.
  • Soft tissue therapies – Massage, trigger point therapy, and instrument-assisted tissue mobilization techniques relax injured neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Neck traction – Gentle, sustained pulling decompresses irritated nerves and separates vertebrae
  • Cold laser therapy – Laser light decreases inflammation and swelling in damaged neck tissues to accelerate healing.
  • Interferential current – This electrical stimulation therapy also reduces painful inflammation.

When to Start Chiropractic Care After an Auto Injury:

  • Finding and documenting injuries missed by ERs before symptoms worsen
  • Relieving muscle spasms before they worsen into chronic pain and spasticity
  • Restoring mobility early to avoid improper compensatory movements
  • Preventing scar tissue formations through proper soft tissue care

Why Chiropractic is Crucial After Car Accidents:

  • Maintaining proper neurological signaling between the spine and body
  • Starting rehab exercises to strengthen injured areas sooner
  • Reducing chances of developing chronic conditions like arthritis later

The importance of early chiropractic evaluation and if necessary, treatment within the early stages after the accident.

When to Start Chiropractic Treatment:

Ideally, accident victims should have a chiropractic evaluation within days or at most a few weeks after their collision. The longer treatment is postponed, the more difficult it becomes to resolve accumulated dysfunction and damage. Seeing a chiropractor right away even before pain starts also documents initial health status. Having problems like spine health, range of motion, and neurological function documented early protects injury victims if legal proceedings arise later. While starting care immediately after an accident is best, chronic issues can still improve with chiropractic at any point.