Are you suffering from whiplash?

Are you suffering from whiplash?

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

There are approximately 50,000 road accidents across Australia every year, and many, thankfully, are not life threatening.

However, being in a road accident doesn’t just affect your vehicle in the short term, although that damage can be substantial, it can also affect your body in the long term. In fact, even if you don’t feel any pain at the time of the accident or immediately after, it’s a good idea to see an appropriate health professional to rule out any damage that could become a problem at a later date and cause significant pain, affecting your life. 

A common condition following on from a road accident, or even as a result of contact sports, horseback riding, cycling, a fall, a blow to the head or physical abuse, is whiplash. Whiplash is a form of neck sprain or strain cause by your head being suddenly thrown violently forward then backward. As a result of such force, there’s a chance you could suffer damage to your intervertebral joints, cervical muscles, discs, nerve roots and ligaments. A study completed last year at both Umeå and Malmö Universities in Sweden concluded that whiplash trauma might also disturb the integrated jaw-neck sensory-motor function which could affect your ability to chew. 

Initially, whiplash might not hurt at all, but within a few days, you may begin to experience some of the following symptoms. Some symptoms of both whiplash and chronic whiplash can occur within 24 hours, while others could take up to three days or longer to present themselves. Some symptoms include: 

  • Stiffness and pain in your neck 
  • Headaches 
  • Lower back pain 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Weariness 
  • Ringing in your ears 
  • Shoulder or shoulder blade pain 
  • Numbness or pain in your hands or arms 
  • Concentration difficulties 
  • Dizziness 
  • Sleeping difficulties or broken sleep 
  • Fatigue 
  • Irritability 

If you suffer from any of these symptoms following a road accident and you decide to see your chiropractor, a series of checks will be completed to assist with diagnosis. Your chiropractor will examine your entire spine, checking for disc or ligament issues, muscles spasms, as well as your range of motion. Then they may check for tightness and pain, as well as taking note of how you walk, your posture, and your overall spinal alignment. Your initial check-up can sometimes be followed by a CT scan, MRI scan or x-ray. This procedure not only helps your chiropractor better understand your spinal structure, but it can also help to diagnose whiplash, so a treatment plan can be formed. 

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to treating whiplash, nor are there any single scientifically proven treatment methods that fix the problem, either temporarily or permanently. There are, however, ways in which you might be able to reduce the pain and resultant side effects; such as pain relief medication taken as recommended, gentle exercise, massage, ice, and heat. 

Dr. Steve Hodal is committed to providing high-quality, individualized chiropractic care in a comfortable and relaxed environment. He is dedicated to providing evidence-based treatments that are tailored to each patient’s individual needs, allowing them to achieve optimal health and wellbeing. Contact us to know more about this disorder or Book Online.