You’ve probably heard a lot about whiplash and may have even experienced it yourself. While there is a lot of misinformation out there concerning this injury and its symptoms, it’s true that it’s usually the result of a car accident. It can cause both chronic and acute pain and lead to more problems down the road. Fortunately, through appropriate chiropractic treatment, a Las Vegas chiropractor can help alleviate pain and prevent further issues without the need for invasive procedures.
What is it?
Whiplash, or whiplash associated disorders (WAD), is caused by a rapid front-to-back or side-to-side motion of the head and neck. Although the vast majority of WAD cases are caused by a rear impact car accident, it may also result from front end impacts, side impacts or a completely different type of accident, such as a fall.
Whatever the cause, WAD is the result of the cervical, or neck, vertebrae being flexed and extended beyond their normal range of motion. This can cause malalignments in the vertebrae, stretched or torn ligaments, and, in severe cases, loss of normal curvature of the spine.
What are the symptoms?
While there are a large range of possible WAD symptoms, the most common is neck pain and soreness. The vertebral ligaments and the neck muscles may be strained. Furthermore, vertebral discs in the cervical spine may be pushed out of alignment, resulting in more severe symptoms.
Headaches, nausea and dizziness are quite common with WAD as pain is referred from the cervical spine to the back of the head, temples and forehead. Similarly, pain or stiffness of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or jaw, often occurs. Finally, patients with severe cases of WAD may notice pain, tingling or difficulty with movement in their shoulders, arm, hands, wrists and fingers. Because nerves exiting the cervical spine are responsible for sensation and movement in the arms, if the discs in the neck are shifted from their proper position and impinge a nerve, it will likely cause dysfunction in your arms.
What is the treatment?
Chiropractic treatment by an experienced chiropractor offers a safe, natural path to pain relief, without the need for risky surgery. Additionally, such treatment can help prevent problems from growing worse over time.
Even though chiropractic treatments are effective for old injuries, it’s best to see a skilled chiropractor as soon as possible after your accident. After a thorough examination, treatment usually starts with icing to reduce inflammation in the muscles and other soft tissues. Gentle adjustments are also used to correct any malalignments throughout the entire spine and release any pinched nerves. Finally, complementary modalities, like hydrotherapy and traction, can be employed as necessary.
If you’re suffering from a new or old case of WAD, or any type of pain, contact Grimes Family Chiropractic in Las Vegas for an appointment at (702) 233-2372 or through our webpage. Dr. Grimes has the experience and training necessary to help you live pain-free and healthy!