Whiplash can occur due to any type of accident but is particularly common following a car collision. Whiplash most commonly happens if your head is moved abruptly into one direction so the surrounding tissues and vertebrae are injured or strained. In most cases, there is no superficial damage as all of the movement occurs to the tissue and bones. Due to its close relation to the spine, chiropractors have a great deal of experience treating and assessing whiplash.
Assessing The Whiplash
As with assessing any other injury, Dr. Cheree will conduct a physical examination and ask you a series of questions to evaluate the severity of the problem. You will frequently hear chiropractors and other medical professionals refer to whiplash in grades going from 0 to 4. These all increase in severity with Grade 0 featuring no neck stiffness or pain as well as no physical signs and Grade 4 including neck complaints and a dislocation, fracture, or injury to the spinal cord. The chiropractic treatment recommended will depend on your whiplash’s severity and may be accompanied by other treatments as well.
In most cases, chiropractic treatment for whiplash will include spinal manipulation of some sort. The flexion-distraction technique is gentle and doesn’t involve any thrusting. It will treat herniated discs whether or not they have arm pain and relies on a slow pumping action right at the disc as opposed to direct force on the spine. Instrument-assisted manipulation is also non-thrusting and uses a specialized instrument that is hand-held. Specific spinal manipulations involve using gentle thrusting on spinal joints with abnormal or restricted motion.
To complement spinal manipulations, your chiropractor may also treat your whiplash with manual therapies that treat muscles and ligaments. They may do soft tissue therapy with repeated gentle strokes using an instrument on the injured area or some sort of manual joint stretching. Chiropractors may also do therapeutic massages or trigger point therapy.
Dr. Cheree can also treat whiplash using ultrasound to enhance blood circulation or interferential electrical stimulation. They can also offer general suggestions to take care of your injury, such as with cold therapy.