Whiplash refers to injuries of the neck caused by a sudden forceful movement of the head which can cause the muscles, ligaments, joints, and nerves to be stretched beyond their normal range of motion. While motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of whiplash, other causes such as sports injuries and accidental falls can also result in whiplash.
Neck pain is the most common symptom associated with whiplash but other symptoms can include headaches, shoulder pain, neck swelling, muscle spasms, numbness or tingling in the arms, nausea, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, and blurred vision. Due to the potential for serious injury, it is important to be examined by a Chiropractor or other healthcare professional if you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to whiplash.
Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat many of the injuries that are typically associated with whiplash. Your whiplash chiropractor will perform a thorough history and physical examination, may request x-rays or other imaging if necessary, will provide treatment to the soft tissues and joints as necessary, and will teach you proper home care for your injuries. Treatment for whiplash can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on the severity of injury.
At Hosmer Chiropractic Health we find the most effective treatment for whiplash injuries is a combination of manual therapy, rehabilitation of the soft tissues and a proper home care program. For more information about chiropractic care and whiplash injuries, read our blog.
Chiropractic care utilizes manual manipulation or mobilization of the spine to restore the normal movement and position of the spinal vertebrae. It is an effective treatment for reducing the long-term impact of whiplash injuries especially when combined with soft tissue rehabilitation.
Soft Tissue Rehabilitation
The term soft tissue refers to your muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and intervertebral discs. During a whiplash injury, the soft tissues of the neck and back may stretch or tear causing pain, inflammation, spasm, and loss of normal motion. In order to minimize impairment and disability, it is important to use therapies that help the soft tissues heal correctly. These include massage therapy, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, stretching, and specific strength and range of motion exercises.
One of the major challenges during the initial healing stage of whiplash is preventing re-injury and avoiding aggravation of the inflamed areas. By individualizing home care programs for patients we can help speed recovery and healing times. The most common home care recommendations following a whiplash injury include the application of ice packs, postural education, active range of motion exercises, and nutritional supplements.
"I was in a Motor Vehicle Accident in March of 2012, and I've been seeing the exceptional staff at Hosmer Chiropractic every week since then. The massage therapists are incredibly healing; they knew just when to apply the right pressures, techniques, and stretching. I really enjoy the Active Release Therapy that the doctors and the therapists apply. Before the accident, I was in the best shape of my life, and the staff at Hosmer have made it possible for me to enjoy the activities that I was before my accident in record time. Not only has the staff helped me recover from my soft tissue damage, they have helped me improve my posture, my overall awareness of muscle response, and have given me the tools to strengthen and repair those areas that were compromised in the accident. I HIGHLY recommend this group of professionals to anyone who has an injury or would just like to improve their overall physiological health. Thank you Dr. Devasto, Dr. Hosmer, Leah, Kim, Star and Carmen." -Leslie B.
Oregon law states that PIP coverage is a mandatory part of almost every Oregon auto insurance policy. PIP is a no-fault insurance claim, which means you and all the passengers in the car are covered regardless of whose fault the accident is. It also covers you if you are a pedestrian or a cyclist. They will pay your bills up front and then bill the other driver's insurance company when the claim is done. PIP insurance covers medical expenses and lost wages and will pay for your chiropractic care of whiplash injuries, co-pays, out-of-pocket prescription costs, or other similar costs. Typical Oregon coverage limits provide for reasonably necessary medical expenses resulting from a motor vehicle collision up to $15,000 or one year from the date of the accident, whichever comes first. Many people also have secondary coverage that can help if this limit is met. Hosmer Chiropractic works with all major insurance companies.
Most people that have been in a car accident experience some level of neck pain and discomfort after the accident. It is important to have these injuries evaluated as soon as possible to determine the severity of the injury, and the most appropriate course of treatment. Your body has one opportunity to recover after the accident - proper treatment of an injury is essential for the best outcome.