The stress of a car accident can keep you from recognizing just how much damage your body may have sustained during the wreck. When you’ve been in a car accident, it can get your adrenaline pumping which may actually distract you from feeling pain and discomfort right away. Because of this, whiplash is known as a hidden injury since it can take a while for your symptoms to appear. Whether or not you started feeling any pain right away, you can visit a whiplash chiropractor to get a full assessment and make sure you are taking care of your health and well-being.
How Whiplash May Affect You
A hidden injury like whiplash may affect people in different ways depending on the force and severity of the accident. When you are in a car accident, the impact can cause your head and neck to snap forward and backward. Whiplash can cause symptoms in your head, neck, back, and shoulders. Here is more information on how whiplash can affect each of these areas in your body.
One of the first signs and symptoms of a car accident injury may be painful headaches. If you experience painful headaches, especially ones that start in the base of your neck and radiate up into your head, then these might be a sign of whiplash. When your head gets shaken up during a car wreck, it can lead to headaches that last for days and even weeks while your body adjusts to any inflammation in the area. You may also experience blurred vision and dizziness with a whiplash injury.
Whiplash can primarily impact your neck, including muscles, tendons, and even your spine. When your head and neck get jostled around during the accident, it can cause your neck muscles to strain out of their normal range of motion. This can lead to pain, tenderness, and even swelling due to muscle strains and even muscle tears. You may notice your neck starts to feel stiff in the hours and even days after the car accident. It can even become difficult to turn your head from side to side or up and down without experiencing pain and discomfort.
Whiplash can also affect the spine by forcing vertebrae and spinal discs out of their healthy alignment, which can negatively impact healthy functioning in the rest of your body. The spine starts in your neck and runs all the way to your buttocks, and a car accident can lead to misalignments in any of these vertebrae. The muscles in your back can also become strained during the accident and lead to back pain, spasms, and stiffness or soreness.
You might be surprised to learn that a whiplash injury can even affect your shoulders and send symptoms into your arms and hands. A misalignment in the spine can put pressure on a nearby nerve that can cause pain, tingling, and even numbness into your extremities. A sore neck and upper back can also put additional pressure on your shoulders.
How Whiplash Gets Diagnosed
If you start to notice pain symptoms in these areas after a car accident, then a whiplash chiropractor can help. While there isn’t a specific test to run that confirms a whiplash diagnosis, a whiplash chiropractor specializes in car accident injuries and has the knowledge and skill to recognize this type of injury. A whiplash chiropractor will perform a physical exam to assess how the car accident has affected you, and also listen to what type of symptoms you have been experiencing. Your whiplash chiropractor may also want to rule out other potential car accident injuries like a concussion or hairline fracture by using diagnostic imaging tools like an X-ray or MRI scan.
Treatment Options for Whiplash
A whiplash chiropractor will develop an all-natural treatment approach to a whiplash injury that may include gentle chiropractic adjustments, therapeutic massage, stretches, and exercises. Chiropractic adjustments are used to resolve a misalignment of vertebrae or spinal discs in the spine that may be contributing to your pain. Your whiplash chiropractor may also recommend specific stretches and exercises to help you regain strength in your neck and back muscles and to help improve range of motion in your neck.
If you are looking for a whiplash chiropractor in Tucker, visit AICA Orthopedics and learn how our car accident doctors can help you heal and recover from car accident injuries like whiplash.