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Most people think of rear-end automobile accidents when they think of whiplash. While this is the number one cause of whiplash, there are several other less common causes of whiplash such as bungee jumping, falling off a horse, riding a roller coaster or bumper cars, and collisions in soccer, rugby, or football. The mechanism of whiplash is that the head/neck gets thrown backwards into hyper-extension, then recoils forwards (usually with the help of the automobile headrest) into hyper-flexion. The technical name for whiplash is cervical acceleration-decceleration syndrome. The pain comes from damage to the ligaments in the neck, the muscles in the head, neck, and back, and in serious cases the bones themselves (potential fracture).
Symptoms of whiplash
Following an impact, you may develop pain within minutes, or it may take one to three days to experience the onset of paior stiffness. Other than neck pain, you may experience the following symptoms:
-Head or jaw pain or tightness
-Pins and needles sensation down one or both arms
-Upper or middle back pain
Treatment of whiplash
The treatment of whiplash will vary depending on the severity of the impact and how recently the injury occurred. Your Oakland chiropractor will do a complete neck and back exam to determine exactly which structures are involved, and custom-tailor the treatment for your injury. Effective treatment modalities include the following:
-Chiropractic adjustments to restore motion to fixated joints
-Active Release Techniques to reduce adhesion in injured muscles
-Rehabilitation exercises to stretch tight muscles and strengthen weak ones
-Heat or ice as appropriate to address tissue needs
-Kinesiotaping to support the soft tissue work and increase circulation
If you have any questions about whiplash/neck pain, or would like to schedule an evaluation for your injury, please give us a call at (510) 465-2342.