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Posted on 05-29-2013
If you have recently been in a car accident, you may have sustained a whiplash injury and not even know it. This is because whiplash injuries can happen at speeds as slow as 5mph – and it can be weeks, or even months, for chronic pain to begin affecting injury victims. Once the pain sets in, however, you can experience chronic neck pain, headaches, muscle soreness and general poor health.
A whiplash injury can cause serious, long-term damage to your body. Below, our Portland chiropractor Dr. Stuart answers your questions about how this injury occurs and how to safely recover.
What causes whiplash?
This injury occurs when the force of a rear-impact accident “whips” your neck forwards and backwards. It doesn’t take much force to do a lot of damage: these injuries can occur during minor fender benders. The movement of your neck whipping forwards and backwards ultimately causes a cervical spine misalignment characterized by abnormal curvature of the spine. Once the spine is out of alignment, extra pressure may be placed on the nearby soft tissues and nerves, triggering ongoing pain.
What is the best treatment?
Chiropractic care is an important part of any spinal injury treatment process. Spinal adjustments help bring proper alignment back to the neck, relieving pressure on the nerves and muscles. While medication can provide temporary pain relief, drugs cannot correct a cervical misalignment. This is why prompt chiropractic care is so important for the body’s healing process; as long as a misalignment persists, so too will a patient’s pain.
How can massage therapy help?
In addition to chiropractic adjustment, many patients benefit from complementary therapies. For example, our Portland chiropractor may recommend massage therapy to help release tension associated with neck pain. After a whiplash injury, you may also find it difficult to turn move your head due to reduced mobility. Massage therapy is very beneficial for restoring a full range of mobility to the cervical spine following injury.
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