Whiplash and whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) represent a range of injuries to the neck caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck associated with extension. Whiplash is commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, usually when the vehicle has been hit in the rear; however, the injury can be sustained in many other ways. Symptoms reported by sufferers include: pain and aching to the neck and back, referred pain to the shoulders, sensory disturbance (such as pins and needles) to the arms & legs and headaches. Symptoms can appear directly after the injury, but often are not felt until days afterwards. Sometimes you can tear a muscle or a ligament and depending on the severity you can get headaches, numbness and tingling and tightening in the neck.
The consequences of whiplash range from mild pain for a few days (which is the case for most people), to severe disability caused by restricted head movement of the cervical spine, sometimes with persistent pain. Whiplash and neck disorders can take a really long time to heal on their own. Getting treatments will speed up recovery and speed up the healing of the ligaments and the muscles.
If you have suffered a whiplash-type injury to the neck, chiropractic care is a good choice to reduce pain and return proper mechanics to the cervical spine. The acute pain and restricted motion you experience after a whiplash injury is a product of injured tissue, and the protective response of the nervous system as it locks up spinal joints to protect you from possible injury to the spinal cord. Chiropractic care emphasizes mobilizing restricted spinal joints and initiating rapid firing of neurological receptors using spinal manipulation, including non-force and flexion-distraction techniques. Chiropractic will address the disturbed mechanics and the neurological responses that allow for treating the cause of neck injury and return full functioning to injured spinal joints.
Whiplash pain is often the result of injured soft tissue. This leads to inflammation and muscle spasm, which in turn causes not only nerve irritation and pain but more importantly results in the formation of soft tissue adhesions. These adhesions scar-up the tissue and lead to dysfunctional soft tissues. ART will restore optimal texture and motion and restore the function of the soft tissue.