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Pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders are telltale signs of whiplash following a car accident. During impact, the forceful back-and-forth motion creates trauma that leaves the cervical spine out of alignment. Studies investigating high-speed cameras and sophisticated crash dummies have determined that the impact actually forces cervical vertebrae into positions of hyperextension while the upper-cervical vertebrae are forced into hyperflexed positions to create soft-tissue damage. If left untreated, the pain and loss of motion can last for years. Many people find relief using the gentle, non-invasive treatments offered by an auto injury chiropractor. Take a look at how this condition is treated by chiropractors following an auto accident.
A Look at Auto Injury Chiropractor Care
First, chiropractors begin by evaluating your spine and central nervous system from a holistic standpoint. They’re actually looking for signs of injury beyond a whiplash-type injury. They often specifically look for the following:
- Confined joint movement.
- Disc injuries.
- Ligament injuries.
- Muscle injuries/abnormalities.
In some cases, imaging and other diagnostic tests will be conducted. If your injury is fresh, a chiropractor will often deliver “acute” care that’s focused on reducing inflammation by as much as possible. Various stretching techniques and manual therapies are also applied to try to reduce the tension that is causing pain.
A long-term plan for helping you to return to full mobility to live a pain-free life following a car accident typically includes multiple approaches. While some of the work is done in the office, patients are also empowered to learn how to promote healing through the ways they move in daily life. Here’s what a full plan might look like:
- Manual manipulation done in the office.
- Manual therapies and stretching done in the office.
- Muscle relaxation and stimulation done in the office.
- Trigger-point therapy done in the office.
- Manual joint stretching done in the office.
- Resistance techniques done in the office.
- Instrument-assisted soft-tissue therapy done in the office.
- Therapeutic massage.
- Specialized exercises conducted both in the office and at home.
- Ergonomic changes.
- Lifestyle changes.
The primary goal is to treat any muscle or tissue dysfunction resulting from the trauma of the accident. There is also an emphasis on reducing inflammation that is causing pain and restriction within the spine. Unlike many other treatments, chiropractic care for auto accidents also uses exercises and stretches that patients can practice at home to supplement the care they receive in the office. Chiropractors also provide instruction on how patients can use posture, movements, and body positioning in daily life to speed up healing.
Book Your Appointment With a Chiropractor in Salt Lake City
Whiplash-related pain and restriction won’t necessarily “clear up” on their own if you don’t receive treatment. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to still be experiencing symptoms stemming from auto accidents decades later. If you’re experiencing pain in your neck and shoulders following a car accident, Dr. Tiffani Fries and the Genesis Chiropractic team are here to help. Our state-of-the-art office serves clients throughout Salt Lake City, Utah; Millcreek, Utah; and Holladay, Utah. For more information about whiplash treatments, contact Genesis Chiropractic to book your appointment.