Whiplash and Chiropractic Care

Auto Accident Whiplash Chiropractor

The average driver in the U.S. is in four auto accidents over the course of their lifetime. If you’ve been in an accident, you probably aren’t surprised to learn that whiplash (where your neck muscles are rapidly jolted or whipped forward and backward) is the most common car accident injury.

How Common Is Whiplash?

More than 3 million new cases of whiplash are reported every year. About half of whiplash victims experience chronic pain.

What Are Symptoms of Whiplash?

The most common symptom is neck pain, which can be felt almost immediately after an accident, while other symptoms that may emerge later include: back pain, headaches, dizziness, muscle and ligament injuries, shoulder pain, feelings of burning, numbness or tingling.

How Long Does Whiplash Last?

It takes on average 17 weeks to stabilize the neck after a severe whiplash injury. Some reports have found that 75 percent of whiplash patients continue to experience symptoms six months after the accident. About 25 percent still don’t feel like they’ve returned to “normal” for more than a year.

How Do Most Doctors Treat Whiplash Injuries?

After an examination and x-rays, many physicians would recommend a combination of some of the following treatments:

  • Pain medications
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Physical therapy
  • A cervical neck collar

What About Chiropractic Care?

Most chiropractors will conduct a thorough examination, including x-rays, of your back, neck and spine before recommending any treatment. They will look for any areas of restricted joint motion and specifically for injuries to your discs, muscles and ligaments. They may observe your posture and note how you walk before beginning treatments. For chiropractors, treatment could involve ultrasound, muscle energy therapy of gentle stretching exercises. They may also recommend spinal manipulation.

Which Treatment Is Best for Reducing Pain? Medication, Exercise or Chiropractic Care?

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health split roughly 270 participants into 3 groups: 1) those who received pain medication; 2) those who were given exercise regimens to follow; and 3) those who received spinal manipulative therapy from a licensed chiropractor. The results? After 12 weeks, roughly 57 percent of participants who underwent chiropractic care and 48 percent of those who exercised reported at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, while just 33 percent of those taking medications reported a similar experience. Unlike medications or surgeries, chiropractic care is gentle, non-invasive and much less likely to trigger unwanted side effects. Accident victims have many options when it comes to treatments, as a chiropractor, like an auto accident whiplash chiropractor in Anne Arundel County, MD, from an office such as Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic, can explain.