Chiropractic Care for Whiplash

Whiplash, also known as neck strain or neck sprain, is a soft tissue injury to the neck. It occurs when there is a rapid forward and backward motion of the neck. These are often due to trauma, such as falls, vehicular accidents, or sports injuries. Are you worried that your symptoms are that of a whiplash? Read on to find out the signs associated with this neck injury and how it’s diagnosed. Also, here’s how chiropractic care can help treat this condition.




The symptoms of whiplash are not always black and white. Many signs of this neck injury fall into certain categories. These include Whiplash Associated Disorders or Cervical Acceleration Deceleration. Aside from neck pain, these categories can also cause other symptoms. These include dizziness, headaches, swelling, bruising, and neck instability or weakness.


In severe cases, the skeletal component of a patient’s neck can also be compromised. These are indicated by ligament tears, vertebrae fractures, and loss of natural curve.




To diagnose whiplash, your chiropractor will have to take your previous medical history. Pre-existing conditions, like arthritis, can increase its severity. The history of your injury will also be thoroughly reviewed. This is to reveal pertinent details of the incident.


For car accidents, these include information on where the impact was coming from. Other questions that your chiropractor will likely ask is if you were moving at the time of impact. Were you braced for impact? Did you hit anything in the vehicle? To help better understand your condition, your chiropractic care provider may also ask questions about your symptoms. How severe are they? How often do they occur? Your chiropractor will also likely ask about how well you can perform routine tasks. Additionally, your chiropractor may conduct an in-depth physical examination. In some cases, advanced imaging may be necessary for a proper diagnosis.


Different Chiropractic Treatment Methods to Treat Whiplash


Your treatment plan for whiplash will vary depending on the severity of your injury. Here are some of the methods that chiropractors use to relieve pain:

  • Chiropractic Adjustments. The most commonly used chiropractic method is spinal manipulation. This procedure encourages healing and restores mobility. This is possible through controlled thrusts to a joint in your spine. Chiropractic adjustments for whiplash may include a few techniques. These include the flexion-distraction technique, specific spinal manipulation, and instrument-assisted manipulation.

  • Manual Therapies. Your chiropractor may also treat your injured soft tissues through manual therapies. These include therapeutic massages, manual joint stretching, and resistance techniques. Others use trigger point therapy and, sometimes, instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy.

  • Other Remedies. Lastly, your chiropractor may also use other therapies. This is to help minimize inflammation in your neck. For instance, interferential electric stimulation can help stimulate your muscles. This is possible because it uses a low-frequency electrical current. Ultrasound, on the other hand, can help reduce muscle stiffness, spasm, and pain. This is done by sending sound waves deep into your affected muscle tissues. The gentle heat it creates increases blood circulation.


During the recovery process of a whiplash, chiropractic care can be beneficial. Not only will your chiropractor increase your range of motion and improve your blood flow, but chiropractic techniques can also help reduce pain and shorten your healing process. Are you still aching from a whiplash-related injury? Visit Element Wellness Center in San Diego, California, today. Call us at (619) 523-9355 to schedule your consultation.

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