Most times, minor injuries from car accidents go unnoticed. The most common injury caused by car accidents is whiplash.
Whiplash, occurs when the neck sustains a sudden jarring movement past its limits. As a consequence, ligaments in the neck become overstretched, causing a sprain.
There can be very serious side effects if whiplash is left untreated. Long term, sometimes permanent pain can result from any bones or ligaments that have not been properly realigned.
Here we have compiled the best self-help strategies and exercise procedures that you can practice at home to assist the healing process for whiplash associated disorders.
Your doctor of chiropractic can guide you in this process!
Damage to muscles and connective tissues goes unnoticed in most non-fatal car accidents. Symptoms may take weeks to appear, so see a chiropractor within the first 48 hrs of an accident, to avoid long term pain and reduce stress on the body. Before an accident, muscles tighten in anticipation of injury that causes strains and sprains. Sudden jerking of the neck can cause whiplash. Get your body checked.
Whiplash, mostly due to rear-end collisions, injures the soft tissues in the cervical region. There’s high initial pain and limited neck motion. It’s worsened by age or inactivity (fearing further damage). Chiropractic manipulation restores movement in stuck joints in the back and neck. Avoid cervical collars and opioid meds. Do gentle exercises for better motion range and motor control. Eat anti-inflammatory foods like ginger.
Your inner ear, brain, and spinal cord control your body’s balance. Damage to any of these 3 balance regulators can cause dizziness. The flow of fluid through the inner ear canals translates into data for the brain to determine your spatial orientation. Any disruption in this process, such as trauma from a whiplash injury or other medical conditions, manifests as distorted brain signals and causes dizziness.
Whiplash Associated Disorders are classified as WAD I (pain but no physical injury), WAD II (physical injury, but no neurological loss), WAD III (neurological function loss) and WAD IV (fracture or dislocation). To expedite healing, change your routine and avoid further injuries. Apply ice and use a brace or compression for support. Steadily step up your range of motion within your pain threshold.
Post whiplash, 2 muscle groups in the neck that are otherwise difficult to isolate (deep neck flexors and extensors), need special attention. A chin tuck, where you drop the chin to the chest without flexing the head forward, is highly recommended. It can be done lying doing or upright; you can also add resistance with your fingers behind the neck and increase range by slowly moving your head.