Whiplash is the most common car accident injury. In fact, fender benders at speeds as slow as 5 mph can cause a whiplash injury, but there is still frequent misunderstanding about whiplash and its proper treatment. Our clinical director and sports medicine specialist Dr. Michael Herb receives many questions from patients about what causes whiplash injuries, how they can be avoided, and the best way to treat them. Answers to three of the most common questions are explained below:
Eugene Car Accident Injury Treatment Explained
What is whiplash?
A whiplash injury occurs when the force of an accident impact abruptly “whips” the cervical spine beyond its normal range of motion. Even the impact from a fender bender can rapidly jerk your neck forwards and backwards. This movement can cause a misalignment in the cervical spine and also strain soft tissues in the neck. Consequently, car accident patients may experience stiffness and soreness in the shoulders and neck, as well as neck pain, headaches and migraines.
How can I reduce my risk for injury?
Thanks to an increase in distracted driving among drivers of all ages, the risk for a whiplash injury is greater than ever. The best way to reduce your risk for injury is to ensure that a car’s headrest is properly positioned to support the spine. The headrest should align with the top of your ears so that it stops your head from whipping backwards. This cushions the head and supports the cervical spine.
How is a whiplash injury treated?
A combination of chiropractic care and complementary therapies is often the best treatment for whiplash injuries. Chiropractic care helps restore proper functioning to the cervical spine. If a disc has slipped out of position, this disc may be placing pressure on nearby nerves, which is causing neck pain and headaches. Adjustments are a gentle and effective technique for correcting a mechanical misalignment and relieving pressure on nerves. Complementary therapies, including massage therapy and rehabilitation exercises, can safely release tension from the neck and shoulders. Massage promotes circulation, which helps soft tissue injuries heal faster. Corrective exercises help restore proper movement to the neck. Physical therapy and rehabilitation helps strengthen your body so you recover more quickly and minimize or prevent long term or future damage. Acupuncture can provide helpful pain management during the healing process.
Absolute Wellness Center offers sports medicine, chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, massage, and more in Eugene, OR. If you are suffering from whiplash or another auto accident related injury, proper diagnosis and treatment are key to your speedy and full recovery. You may also be interested in learning more about physical therapy and rehabilitation for auto accident injuries and whiplash. To learn more, give us a call at 541-484-5777.