6 Signs of Whiplash (and how a Livermore Chiropractor can help!)
When you think of whiplash, most people think of car accidents. While car accidents make up much of whiplash cases, it is not the only way that you can experience whiplash. Whiplash can occur anytime there is an external force on your body such as being hit or taking a fall. It occurs when the body’s movement occurs at a different rate than the head causing a whip-like motion. This whip-like motion causes more harm to soft tissue structures, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons than would be common with a like force elsewhere in the body.
If you’ve gone through an experience where whiplash might have occurred, it would be wise to seek a Livermore Chiropractictor right away to prevent future problems. Whiplash causes damage to your spine and muscles in your neck, which can lead to headaches, neck pain and stiffness, dizziness or blurred vision, numbness or tingling in arms or legs, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and insomnia.
Most patients seek treatment for whiplash because they are in pain and want to recover quickly. However, more important than recovering quickly is the ability of the body to recover appropriately and without risk of chronic pain in the future. If you had an experience where whiplash occurred and your thoughts are that the pain will eventually go away, you may not be wrong. However, when left untreated, it is often the case that though your pain may go away, you are leaving your body at risk for this injury to come back and nag you in the future leading to chronic pain.
If you are unsure if you have experienced whiplash, here are 6 signs of Whiplash.
When whiplash occurs, forces are often delivered unevenly throughout the body. This leads to certain joints, ligaments, and muscles having an increased risk of damage. As part of the repair process, your body will lay down scar tissue, fibrosis, and adhesions. This temporarily stabilizes the area and may help reduce pain, it is only temporarily beneficial. In fact, when left long-term, it limits the motion of joints. Without motion, the joint degrades over time causing stiffness and eventually pain and disability. This is precisely the reason why old injuries come back to bother you sometimes decades down the road. When these injuries are treated properly immediately after they occur, this disability in the future can be prevented.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention from somebody trained in dealing with whiplash. It is possible that these are minor symptoms from the trauma to soft tissue structures in the neck, but it can also be a sign of something more serious that needs to be treated by a trained professional. These symptoms need to be treated very seriously.
If you feel a pin and needles or a burning sensation in your arms, it could be a sign of spinal misalignment in the neck or cervical disc injury. These symptoms most often occur in the arms when the body experiences whiplash, however, you may also experience these symptoms in the legs with injury to the lumbar spine.
Tinnitus or ringing in the ears is a common symptom experienced after whiplash. The middle and inner ear is closely related to injury to the cervical spine. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should be evaluated by a professional.
If you are having difficulty chewing or swallowing, this can be a sign of damage to the muscles in the neck, also known as the prevertebral soft tissues. When you are experiencing these symptoms after whiplash, it is important to be evaluated by a professional. In severe cases, this may be a sign of cervical instability which can occur because of fractures of the vertebrae or severe damage to the ligaments which help support the bones in the neck.
When you’re in a car accident or experience any other trauma that causes severe damage to the soft tissue structures of the body, it’s normal to be extra tired. However, it can be a sign of whiplash which should be treated by a trained professional.
Getting checked out by a professional after any major trauma to the body can be hard due to time constraints of because you feel that it will just get better on its own. However, the disability that can come in the future if these injuries do not heal correctly can be much more severe. Take the time now to have these injuries treated before it is too late.
When you visit a Livermore chiropractic clinic after a physical trauma like whiplash, the doctor will want to ask you for as many details as you can remember of what happened with your body during the event. They will bring you through a thorough exam to rule out red flags that may make care dangerous. In most cases, Chiropractic care is extremely safe and effective. However, if there is any risk to treatment, your Chiropractor will make the appropriate referral for imaging or to a different type of medically trained professional.
If you’re experiencing pain, a chiropractor can treat you with spinal manipulation, also known as adjustments, which are natural and pain-free to help you achieve relief right away and reduce the risk of chronic pain in the future. If you have whiplash or other injuries from the event, they’ll work with you to create a treatment plan so you can stay free of pain and in good health while you recover.
Chiropractors may also recommend that their patients take certain supplements or get more exercise in order to relieve muscle tension. For most, exercise and movement throughout recovery are beneficial. The tricky part is determining what type of exercise is best and safest for your body. Contact your Livermore chiropractor to get evaluated for whiplash today.