Chiropractic Care for Whiplash Injuries

AUG 28, 2021

Can chiropractors help after a car accident?
Chiropractors are a big help after a car accident. Chiropractors have extensive training in whiplash and spinal trauma after a car accident. Your Doctor of Chiropractic will help you understand your injury and develop a care plan to help you recover from your car accident.
How soon after a car accident should I see a chiropractor?
You should see a chiropractor immediately following a car accident. That way your chiropractor can decide on a treatment plan to help you recover properly. The first couple of months is crucial. Waiting too long can lead to the development of sometimes permanent injuries after a car accident. Don’t wait to be evaluated.
What is the fastest way to heal a whiplash injury?
The fastest way to heal a whiplash injury is to properly evaluate the injury and determine a course of care specific to your injuries. Typically this includes chiropractic care, massage therapy, and eventually rehabilitative exercises. The most crucial decision is seeking out care immediately following your car accident.
How long should I see a chiropractor for whiplash?
Patients typically see a chiropractor for 2-3 months following a whiplash injury. Consistency is crucial. Without a care plan, the patient is likely to develop scar tissue and possibly chronic pain over time.
Why it's important to see a chiropractor after an auto accident?
It is important to see a chiropractor after an auto accident to make sure your body has proper motion when it heals. Not seeking treatment following a car accident leads to scar tissue formation and sometimes lifelong chronic pain due to poor healing.
How long does whiplash last?
Initial symptoms of whiplash can last a few weeks to a few months depending on severity. Following a care plan recommended by your chiropractor will help speed up recovery time and minimize scar tissue formation.

 

Hello everyone. I'm Dr. Aaron Seaton, with The Chiropractic Place. And today's video is about car accidents and whiplash. Most commonly, when somebody is rear-ended or hit and our body is kind of thrown forward, a lot of times we're thrown forward and back as far as our neck, and we can create whiplash injuries in those car accidents. And so, today we're gonna talk about not only what happens during that whiplash injury, but what things to look out for, how to properly heal from those injuries, and what chiropractic care can do for somebody who's been in a car accident and that has had whiplash. So first thing I like to talk with my patients about is, right after the accident, people tend to be in a state of shock. They may not have had much in the way of symptoms for maybe even the first few hours after the car accident, they're just kind of unaware that they're injured. And so this can fool people into believing that they're okay, and maybe this lasts a day or two sometimes, but typically with whiplash injuries, the pain and the injuries start to show up a day to three days later, and it kinda slowly starts building up over time.

A lot of the symptoms that patients have with whiplash due to a car accident, can almost be inexplicable, it almost doesn't it makes sense to the patient. They'll say, "I had pain yesterday in my neck, and now it's kind of down into my back and maybe into my shoulder, coming down my arm." And so what's going on is, as the inflammation is changing due to the accident and to the injury, you'll start to see these different kinds of pain patterns that don't necessarily make sense. That's really common with whiplash, that's part of the healing process, as your body starts going to work on the damaged tissue. So make no mistake, that's a very normal reaction, but it's kind of scary for patients 'cause it seems like the symptoms are almost changing every day, some day they'll have headaches, the next day it might be neck pain or mid-back pain, sometimes it's coming down the arm. That is very true with whiplash from a car accident. So one of the things also to be aware of is, your level of awareness of the accident can also affect how injured you are. If you see a car coming at you or maybe you've glanced in your rearview rear-view mirror and you noticed and you had time to brace for the accident, you were able to tighten down, that protects you from the injury far more than if somebody is completely caught off-guard.

So if you were in a car accident and you were completely unaware, like you... Well, what just happened? You are far more likely to be injured, because you did not have time to brace for impact, to kinda lock your spine down with your muscles, so your ligaments and joints took a lot of force during that accident. So there, you're actually 15 times more likely to have a chronic whiplash injury, if you were unaware of the accident happening. So that's definitely a very important thing to touch on for patients and very important for people to be aware of, hey, if you didn't see it coming, you had no clue, you definitely need some care. It could be as little... And the research is, as little as 3 to 4 miles per hour, if you're unaware that the accident is happening, you could get a whiplash injury. So a lot of people who are hit at 15, 20, 25, 30 miles an hour or more, think of the level of injury they have from that car accident. So it's important for you to understand what to do, and that's what we're gonna talk about, next.

So the next thing I always talk about is that first 30 to 60 days, and I wanna make this very clear to the people watching, 'cause this is important, that all of the orthopaedic literature on this, all the chiropractic literature on this is very, very clear that what you do, that first couple of months is by far, the most crucial. So waiting a few months before you seek out care is the exact wrong thing to do. The research is very clear on this, that in the first 30 to 60 days, you need to start mobilizing that tissue immediately. So that means seeking out chiropractic care, undergoing those protocols. In our office, we tend to combine massage therapy with the chiropractic care, so that we're addressing any scar tissue, any adhesions that may form from the accident, we wanna break those up early, so that that tissue heals properly, so you don't lose range of motion, you are far more likely to heal properly and far less likely develop chronic whiplash problems.

So the first 30 to 60 days, so important, you have to mobilize that tissue, otherwise you are setting yourself up down the road, for future problems. And another important here is, sometimes people who just... They don't seek out care, they just kinda ride out the inflammation, they might feel better in 60 to 90 days, but down the road, 12 to 18 months from there, they start getting this right here, the chronic whiplash symptoms, where scar tissue has formed, they've lost range of motion, they have chronic inflammation and pain in these areas because they did not do what needed to be done in the first 30 to 60 days.

I hope that's clear. So chronic whiplash, a lot of these issues can be prevented if you do this right, and that's where getting in to our office, seeing a chiropractor for your whiplash injuries that you had from a car accident, getting properly diagnosed. In my office, we do digital X-Rays, we sit down, we understand the nature of the accident, we properly document that accident, and then we develop a care plan for that patient. Usually in the beginning, chiropractic care with massage therapy to get things settled down, and as the patient begins to respond, then we're gonna start introducing rehabilitative exercises, strengthening the area, restoring the integrity of the muscles. Very important to follow the right game plan to get you better, otherwise, you could end up here in a lot of the times, these people can have life-long pain, because we didn't get this right. So hopefully, this video makes sense for you guys, I hope you understand better about what to do if you're in a car accident and had whiplash, and how to contact us, get chiropractic advice, get chiropractic care, if you've had this injury, we've seen this hundreds of times. So thank you so much for tuning in to our video. I'm Dr. Aaron Seaton, with The Chiropractic Place.

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