Whiplash is commonly the result of rear-end car accidents, sports injuries and accidents at work. Whiplash can result when the neck is quickly and forcibly moved forward then backward or from side to side. It is important to treat these soft tissue injuries early to avoid chronic pain, although sometimes symptoms don’t develop until long after the accident occurred.
Neck pain and headaches are often the two most common complaints of whiplash sufferers. Other symptoms of whiplash injuries can include:
- blurred vision
- myofascial injuries (damage to the muscles and ligaments)
- difficulty swallowing
- ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- vertigo (dizziness)
- jaw pain
- burning or prickling sensations
- shoulder pain
- back pain.
In addition to physical injuries, whiplash can cause non-physical symptoms: cognitive, somatic or psychological symptoms like:
- memory loss
- impaired concentration
- sleep disturbances
How Whiplash Pain is Treated
Most pain associated with whiplash is caused by tense muscles or muscle spasms. When the neck is forced back and forth in a jarring motion, such as the type caused by a car accident, muscles and ligaments in the area are stretched beyond their normal limits. In severe instances, the supportive muscles and/or ligaments of the spine are torn.
Muscles in the surrounding area then tighten to try and support the injured tissues. This limits range of motion and causes strain on those muscles, which are not used to bearing the extra load, and causes more pain. Other symptoms of whiplash injuries are generally the result of the body’s reaction to this new tension. Headaches can develop from tightness at the back of the neck, pain in the shoulders can result from tense muscles, and burning or shooting pain can be caused by tears in the muscles. Your Maitland chiropractor is well educated to evaluate and treat these “soft tissue” type injuries. For more on pain relief, call today!