Chiropractic Treatment MN | Neck Pain | Whiplash
Whiplash is a term describing a range of injuries to the neck caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck associated with extension. The term “whiplash” is a colloquialism. “Cervical acceleration-deceleration” (CAD) describes the mechanism of the injury, while the term “whiplash associated disorders” (WAD) describes the injury sequelae and symptoms.
Whiplash and Whiplash-Associated Disorders (WAD)
Whiplash and whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) represent a range of injuries to the neck caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck.
Whiplash is commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, usually when the vehicle has been hit in the rear; however, the injury can be sustained in many other ways, including:
- Slip and fall or tripping accidents
- Bicycle, motorcycle, and all-terrain vehicle crashes
- A direct blow to the face, neck, head, or back (usually from playing sports)
- Diving into shallow water
- Roller coasters and other amusement park rides
- Sports injuries such as skiing accidents
Whiplash Associated Disorder
Before the invention of cars, whiplash injuries were called “railroad spine” as noted mostly during train collisions. After the invention of cars, the number of whiplash-related injuries have risen sharply due to an increase in rear-end motor vehicle collisions. The first case of severe neck pain arising from a train collision was documented around 1919. Given the wide variety of symptoms that are associated with whiplash injuries the Quebec Task Force on Whiplash-Associated Disorders, coined the phrase, Whiplash-Associated Disorders.
- Grade 0: no neck pain, stiffness, or any physical signs are noticed
- Grade 1: neck complaints of pain, stiffness or tenderness only but no physical signs are noted by the examining physician.
- Grade 2: neck complaints and the examining physician finds decreased range of motion and point tenderness in the neck.
- Grade 3: neck complaints plus neurological signs such as decreased deep tendon reflexes, weakness and sensory deficits.
- Grade 4: neck complaints and fracture or dislocation, or injury to the spinal cord.
An entire whiplash injury occurs in about 1/10th of a second — the length of an eye blink. But in that time, the human head can experience forces greater than that of jet fighter pilots.
The number of milliseconds that takes place during the whiplash process after impact (~500 msec.) and the fact that voluntary muscle contraction takes longer (~800 msec.) makes it next to impossible to adequately “brace” prior to impact, even when the collision is anticipated.
Neck pain is a common complaint. Most causes of neck pain aren’t serious. Neck muscles can be strained from poor posture — whether it’s leaning into your computer at work or hunching over your workbench doing hobbies at home. Wear-and-tear arthritis also is a common cause of neck pain.
But sometimes neck pain can signify something more serious. Seek immediate medical care if you experience:
- Shooting pain into your shoulder or down your arm
- Numbness or loss of strength in your arms or hands
- Change in bladder or bowel habits
- Inability to touch your chin to your chest
Whiplash Injuries and Chiropractic
Even if you don’t have any obvious or immediate symptoms after an auto accident, or other injury, I would recommend that you visit a chiropractor as soon as possible. Only then can an assessment of the severity and recovery of whiplash injury be made.
Research has shown that chiropractic has been a very effective approach to healing whiplash. In fact, Chiropractic Is The “Only Proven Effective Treatment” for Chronic Whiplash!
Spinal adjustment — also called spinal manipulation — of the neck has been found to be highly effective in the treatment of whiplash or WAD, and hence, Chiropractic is often the recommended first order of treatment for patients suffering from this condition. It is the process of applying a quick but gentle pressure to “subluxated” vertebrae in a corrective manner.
It involves moving a joint beyond its usual range of motion but not beyond the range of motion the joint is designed to move, anatomically speaking. You often will hear a popping or cracking noise during chiropractic adjustment as the joint is manipulated. Chiropractic doctors are the only health care professionals trained to deliver the chiropractic spinal adjustment.
When you visit our St Paul MN Chiropractor office, our first goal is to relieve pain and symptoms. But our ultimate goal is to restore health.