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Chiropractor Auto Accidents and Whiplash 

The pains that a car accident and whiplash bring can be difficult to live with but here at Plainfield Chiropractic And Rehabilitation, our chiropractor makes sure you do not have to live with those pains for long. 

Today, we know that whiplash result from hyperextension or hyperflexion (extension and flexion beyond normal physiological limits),actually rather an extremely rapid extension and flexion that causes injuries. Unlike a broken bone where a simple x-ray can validate the presence of the fracture and standards of care can direct a health care professional as to the best way in which to handle the injury, whiplash injuries involve an unpredictable combination of nervous system, muscles joints and connective tissue disruption that is not simple to diagnose and can be even more of a challenge to treat.  

It is the single most common complaint in whiplash trauma, being reported by over 90% of patients.  Often this pain radiates across the shoulders, up into the head, and down between the shoulder blades.  Whiplash injuries tend to affect all of the tissues in the neck, including the facet joints and discs between the vertebrae, as well as all of the muscles, ligaments and nerves. Facet joint pain is the most common cause of neck pain following a car accident.  Facet joint pain is usually felt on the back of the neck, just to the right or left of center, and is usually tender to the touch.  Facet joint pain cannot be visualized on x-rays or MRIs.  It can only be diagnosed by physical palpation of the area. 

Disc injury is also a common cause of neck pain; especially chronic pain.  The outer wall of the disc (called the anulus) is made up of bundles of fibers that can be torn during a whiplash trauma.  These tears, then, can lead to disc degeneration or herniation, resulting in irritation or compression of the nerves running through the area.  This compression or irritation commonly leads to radiating pain into the arms, shoulders and upper back, and may result in muscle weakness. 

Damage to the muscles and ligaments in the neck and upper back are the major cause of the pain experienced in the first few weeks following a whiplash injury, and is the main reason why you experience stiffness and restricted range of motion.  But as the muscles have a chance to heal, they typically don't cause as much actual pain as they contribute to abnormal movement.  Damage to the ligaments often results in abnormal movement and instability.

Headaches 

After neck pain, headaches are the most prevalent complaint among those suffering from whiplash injury. While some headaches are actually the result of direct brain injury, most are related to injury of the muscles, ligaments and facet joints of the cervical spine, which refer pain to the head.  Brain injury z Believe it or not, mild to moderate brain injury can happen following a whiplash injury, due to the forces on the brain during the accident.When the brain is forced forward and backward in the skull, the brain bounces off the inside of the skull, leading to bruising or bleeding in the brain itself.That’s why its important to get check after an accident as soon as possible.  

Dizziness 

Dizziness following a whiplash injury usually results from injury to the facet joints of the cervical spine, although in some cases injury to the brain or brain stem may be a factor as well.  Typically, this dizziness is very temporary improves significantly with chiropractic treatment.

Chiropractic Care 

Chiropractic care utilizes manual manipulation of the spine to restore the normal movement and position of the spinal vertebrae.  It is by far the single-most effective treatment for minimizing the long-term impact of whiplash injuries, especially when coupled with massage therapy, trigger point therapy, exercise rehabilitation and other soft tissue rehabilitation modalities.