Whiplash is a general term used to describe a range of neck injuries that occur after a sudden, violent jolt to the cervical spine. Car accidents are the most common source of whiplash injuries, however they can also occur in sports injuries, work injuries, falls, or other accidents. At Accident & Pain Relief of St. Louis, our chiropractors have extensive training and experience in diagnosing and treating whiplash injuries after car accidents.
Whiplash injuries typically involve a sprain or strain in the neck, also called the cervical spine. The cervical spine is made up of seven small vertebrae that are supported by ligaments that prevent excessive movement. During a rear-end car accident for instance, the body is forced into one direction while the head stays behind, and then rebounds. This shearing force can tear the ligaments, resulting in a sprain, or stretch the muscles and tendons past their normal range of motion, resulting in a strain.
The spinal discs that cushion the vertebrae can also be torn, which may lead to cervical disc herniation. It is also possible to stretch the nerve roots between the vertebrae. In rare cases, the vertebrae may actually be dislocated or fractured.
Because there is a diverse range of whiplash injuries, the symptoms can vary from patient to patient. The medical term for these symptoms is "whiplash-associated disorders." Symptoms we commonly see in our St. Louis patients include:
Chiropractors specialize in the health of the spine, and commonly treat cervical spine injuries and neck pain. The St. Louis chiropractors at Accident & Pain Relief of St. Louis are particularly experienced in using evidence-based, non-invasive techniques for curing whiplash after car accidents. These treatments, such as physical therapy and chiropractic adjustments, have been clinically shown to be effective for whiplash injuries in medical studies.
As the body works to heal itself from soft tissues sprains or strains, it will start to develop scar tissue in the affected area. Unfortunately too much scar tissue can restrict your range of motion, resulting in enhanced pain well after your injury. It is important to break up harmful scar tissue and promote flexibility with chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, and physical therapy exercises. Chiropractic adjustments will also boost your body's anti-inflammatory response, and restore nutrients to the injured area by increasing blood flow to the region.
Your St. Louis chiropractors will perform a careful evaluation of your symptoms, and create a tailored treatment plan to minimize pain and prevent chronic symptoms. Whether you're suffering from whiplash after a car accident or sports injury, Accident & Pain Relief of St. Louis is your best bet for effective, non-invasive care.
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Mayou R, Tyndel S, Bryant B. Long-term outcome of motor vehicle accident injury. Psychosomatic Medicine 1997;59:578–84.
Rosenfeld M, et al. Early intervention in whiplash-associated disorders: a comparison of two treatment protocols. Spine 2000; 15;25(14):1782-7.
Woodward MN, Cook JCH, Gargan MF, Bannister GC. Chiropractic treatment of chronic ‘whiplash’ injuries. Injury: International Journal of the Care of the Injured 1996;27(9):643-645.