What is Whiplash?

Whiplash refers to when the skull is jerked backward and forward due to an impact collision. For instance, Most cases of whiplash associated disorder (WAD) injury occur from car accidents, although whiplash can be caused by other jerky motions such as roller coaster rides. Certainly, this motion results in damage to the neck. Besides resulting in neck pain, WAD leads to a number of different whiplash symptoms that can become chronic if the right treatment techniques are not used quickly. In fact, Dr. Hanson is a leading expert on whiplash treatment and certified in whiplash injury biomechanics & traumatology by the Spine Research of San Diego.

Need pain relief now? Contact us or learn about our Whiplash Massage Treatment.

Whiplash Symptoms

After a person has experienced whiplash associated disorder, they may experience a variety of symptoms. They may vary from mild to severe and may change in the days following the accident. It’s good to note that lower back pain and a whiplash injury can seem unrelated, however, lower back pain can indeed be a result of whiplash. Common whiplash symptoms include:

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Upper back pain
  • Pain in the arm or shoulder
  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stiffness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Weakness
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Jaw pain
  • Memory loss

Most importantly, our focus is on ligament injuries, muscle injury, and joint capsule injury. Common symptoms involved with whiplash injuries are neck pain, headaches, often there’ll be dizziness, ringing in the ears, or what’s called tendonitis, nausea, sometimes even vomiting. For example, often a person will complain of pain or numbness or tingling going down to the arms and down into the hands. Specifically, they’ll often have mid back pain or low back pain. It’s very important the type of treatment that is given to one to be able to produce the best results. Neck pain and headaches are the most common whiplash symptoms, although these vary greatly from one patient to another. Above all, If whiplash treatment is not applied after an accident, these issues can become chronic and lead to many additional issues. In fact, 40-50% of those with chronic neck pain have had a history of whiplash.

Should I Receive Whiplash Treatment?

One of the reasons that whiplash injuries lead to chronic symptoms is because many people do not pursue treatment after an accident.  Some accidents are minor fender benders with very little damage to the vehicles, so the occupants of the cars often don’t feel that they need to pursue care. The reality is if the vehicle didn’t sustain any damage, more than likely the force of impact was sustained by your body.

In addition to a seemingly light-force impact, some accident victims don’t notice any symptoms immediately. Afterward, they may be more focused on potential damage, exchanging insurance information with the other party, or getting to work on time. Meanwhile, adrenaline is flowing, which often makes it more difficult to recognize symptoms.

In fact, whiplash symptoms often start out mild but then increase over the days or even months. For some, the symptoms don’t show up until years later, which means that the damage is much worse and takes a lot longer to treat because of scar tissue buildup. This is it’s very important to seek whiplash treatment within 48 hours of getting in an accident, even if you don’t think anything is wrong.

Give us a call today (425-902-4996), before your symptoms get worse.

Whiplash Injury Treatment

Treatment of whiplash injuries can vary quite a bit depending on the severity of the symptoms. Ice and rest may be recommended for mild muscle strains, or drugs and surgery may be necessary for bad injuries.

Visiting a chiropractor after a car accident is highly recommended, as a more conservative approach is used and the diagnosis and treatment lead to long-term healing. Our Chiropractors are experienced in whiplash symptoms and treatment and will perform a thorough exam to determine how to reduce your neck or back pain. Treatment in our office may include:

  • Adjustments: A chiropractic adjustment helps to mobilize the joints and realign the spine to its proper position.
  • Massage therapy treatment: Our office offers massage for patients with soft tissue damage.
  • Laser therapy: Increases circulation to help reduce spasms, swelling, and stiffness.
  • Neuromuscular Rehabilitation: Some patients may need additional strengthening exercises using our Power Plate Technology physical therapy program.

Besides pain and injury, car accidents can result in a lot of stress, and we are happy to assist you with any forms or accident reports that may be requested from your insurance company. We also have a number of personal injury attorneys we can recommend if necessary.

Patient Whiplash Case Study

Eric was in a car accident, he was driving home on a highway, and his car got completely flipped over. He had a compression injury in his neck and in his low back. We  found instability in his neck, where the ligaments are not holding the bones together properly. And as a result, when he moves, the bones move in an abnormal way, which irritates the nerves. Over time this will cause early degenerative changes, and damage to the disc.

Next Steps

The goal is to get him feeling better and moving better, but most importantly, we’re really working to help his injuries to heal correctly, so he doesn’t have any long term residual issues as result.

We are going to take you through the process of how we would fix an injury like this.

With Eric, his primary issue is in his neck, the loss of curve, and then the loss of the curve in the lower back. We would start by adjusting his SI joint on the left side.

Most of the pain that occurs in the spine is mechanical. It makes sense that if you have a mechanical problem, then the solution should also be mechanical. The chiropractic approach is to focus on the problem, rather than just masking or covering the symptom with medication.

It’s the joints on either side at the tailbone that are the problem and by getting better mobility into those joints, that’s going to help him feel better.

Now we are going to work through the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine is the area through the mid back, it is between the shoulder blades. In his case, he tends to become too flexed or what’s called kyphotic, which is where he becomes real rounded. What we want to do is actually lift those joints and bring them up.

When done correctly you feel pressure come out of that area, better mobility on the inside and then we’re going to work through the neck. In this case with Eric, I’m going to be working right at the very base of the neck, from the top of the upper back. So I’m going to be working on that joint and then the joint just above that.

You will feel the difference, often times you’ll feel it all the way down into the lower back. This has become our patient’s most requested adjustment. There’s nothing that can make a better change than that adjustment, it’s a phenomenal difference. 

And our last adjustments that we’re going to be doing is on your stomach here. I mentioned earlier about the need to improve the curve in his low back and the need to improve the curve in his neck. That’s what’s going to give his spine better stability. In this case we would use the drop pieces. In those areas that we just mobilized, now we’ve got mobility into the spine and we can start to shape it into a better position.

We would be working through the lower neck, at least C-5 through C-7. Then I’m going to be working on the upper lumbar.

This is a more comprehensive adjustment. From here you go to the rehab, which is traction and specific postural exercises to help to restore the normal curve in his neck and his low back. But this is a good demonstration of a comprehensive adjustment including the Y-pull and that Y-axis. 

One of the most common symptoms are headaches after a car accident, learn about Damain’s story.

What The Client Had To Say About This Process

The main thing is that my lower back’s always been really tight and it’s always been a challenge to get any movement from it. I found that with the Y-pull, it actually opens up the back, you feel it from the base of your neck. It releases that tension and all the way down to the lower back. I’ve noticed a difference ever since the Y-pull. When he does the side adjustment, there’s actual movement down there.

The other thing that’s really nice is just the ability to breathe better after the adjustment it’s great. Any kind of like tension you feel around your chest is eliminated. It’s just so easy to have proper posture after an adjustment. Mobility in my neck is improved and just overall it’s just a lot of release of any tension.

Watch the entire whiplash case study here.

Call Us Today

If you have been in a car accident, please give Hanson Chiropractic a call at 425-902-4996 or send us a message to schedule an appointment to discuss whiplash treatment. We are located in South Everett.