Whiplash and the role of chiropractic
Since the invention of the automobile, humans have been continually plagued by the unique yet consistent constellation of symptoms that have been called "whiplash."
You're in a car, relaxed, waiting at a stoplight. Suddenly you hear a screeching of tires behind you and the harsh sound of metal hitting metal. In the split second before you brace yourself, you feel your car moving forward from some unseen force! You've been rear-ended. Upon impact your body pushes deeply into your seat. Your head delays its reaction while your body quickly reaches the limits of your seat.
Then your body instantly changes directions moving forward to the limits of your seat belt. Now your head starts moving backward in the opposite direction! Unrestrained by a seatbelt your head is jerked back and then forward beyond its normal limits. Everything seems to be happening in slow motion, yet you are unable to stop your head from whipping backward and then forward.
What you do about it in the next hours, days and weeks can forever affect your health.
After experiencing whiplash, swelling, pain and spasm can occur, although it can be days to weeks before the symptoms are noticed. The goal of chiropractic care at his phase is to minimize swelling and pain. Icing the area blocks swelling, pain and spasm.
The second phase of healing causes fluid to be trapped in tissues, which restricts motion, causes pain, and delays healing. Goals of chiropractic care at this stage are to remove fluid, pain relief, and begin to restore motion. Chiropractic adjustments help
- Restore motion
- Block pain
- Restore normal sensation
- Relax tight muscles
- Remove swelling
- Accelerate healing
Stage three of healing is the repair stage where scar tissue is formed decreasing motion. Lack of motion causes excess scar tissue in dense patterns disrupting normal function. This can result in
- Excess scarring
- Chronic stiffness
- Limited range of motion
- Poor biomechanics
- Chronic pain
- Weak muscles and ligaments
- Loss of normal sensation
- Poor nutrition to the tissues
- Increased risk of re-injury
- Accelerated degeneration
- Straightening of the spine
If motion is restored and maintained, tissues heal in a much more functional way. Chiropractic adjustments help to restore proper motion and position of individual spinal bones, restore normal sensation, promote full healing and relieve pain.
The fourth stage of healing is the remodeling stage. Connective tissue remodels for better strength and flexibility. Chiropractic helps:
- Improve and maintain motion and flexibility
- Restore and maintain function
- Reduce chronic pain
- Reduce the risk of re-injury and degeneration
Whether your car has sustained minimal or great damage, people react much differently than metal, glass and plastic. An immediate chiropractic examination is essential