Noel L. Shaw, D.C., C.C.S.P.
Certified Chiropractic Sports & Injury Physician
Family Chiropractic Chiropractic for Kids!
Auto, Work, & Sports Injuries
1101 North Wilmot Rd. Suite 229 Tucson, AZ 85712
WHIPLASH & SPINAL TRAUMA ...
For people who have been involved in a car accident or motor vehicle collision (MVC), the very word may conjure up memories of their own stiff and painful neck or back. For those who haven't, it is hard to imagine the wide reaching health effects that can follow.
Whiplash is a term used to describe the constellation of injuries caused by a rapid jerking of the head and neck, either forward and backward or side-to-side. It is most often associated with car accidents, but can also occur from falls, blows to the head, or sports accidents. The sudden, forceful movement with whiplash causes injuries in two common ways: 1) The neck may move beyond its normal range of motion, causing tearing in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the neck. 2) The sudden backward or sideways shifting of the head and neck causes significant compression forces to the intervertebral disc, spinal nerves, and even spinal cord. Symptoms may include swelling and/or tenderness of the neck, difficulty swallowing, jaw problems (TMJ disorders), nausea, vomiting, flashes of light, headache, dizziness, difficulty focusing, insomnia, and ringing in the ears. Pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness may be localized in the neck or back, or may radiate into the shoulder, arm, hand, or legs. Symptoms of whiplash may not show up for weeks or even years after the original injury.
The long term results of whiplash injuries are related to the compressive and tearing forces on the spine, discs, ligaments, and nerves. Injury to the neck often alters the natural curve of the cervical spine, leading to poor biomechanics, or spinal motion, and leads to early spinal decay / degeneration. According to insurance company studies, over 40% of people suffering a whiplash injury will still have chronic symptoms two years later.
Traditional medical treatment techniques for whiplash from car accidents (cervical collars, medications, pain injections, etc) have been found largely ineffective. Several studies point to the short term and long term success of chiropractic for whiplash sufferers.
Beginning care as soon as possible after injury, early chiropractic treatment for car accidents involves gentle passive therapies, such as massage, ultrasound, stretching, and interferential electric stimulation. As the short-term soreness subsides, the goal becomes one of restoring more normal motion, alignment, and energy, using gentle, light adjustments and specialized corrective spinal exercises to minimize the long term effects.
Our office stays current with the latest in proven pain reducing and corrective therapies to speed up the healing process. If you have been injured in a car accident or motor vehicle collision, call us for an evaluation, so that your injuries, even if they appear minor, do not lead to long term chronic pain or disabilty. Treatment for most MVC injuries will be covered under your car insurance. And we will work with your attorney as well.
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