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Whiplash

Whiplash is the most common form of trauma involving the neck in North America (1). Usually, this results from a motor vehicle accident or another acceleration-deceleration mechanism. The symptoms of whiplash and closely related disorders include neck pain, jaw pain, headache, dizziness, sleeping difficulties, neck stiffness, back pain and the list goes on (1,2). If left untreated, this can turn into a chronic problem causing further suffering of these debilitating symptoms and other degenerative processes (1).


The injuries sustained from a car crash go beyond the bumps and bruises on the surface. Often ligaments are sprained and muscles are strained which can lead to structural changes. Without proper rehabilitation of these tissues, chronic changes start to set in. This is why it is important to seek care after being involved in a car accident even if a radiographic image shows no broken bones.


Chiropractic care is focused on helping your brain communicate better with your body. When an injury occurs like whiplash, this is of the utmost importance as your body will have developed compensations based on how your head and neck moved during the accident. Although this is not the most typical condition patients might consider utilizing chiropractic care for, it should be! Chiropractic adjustments are an effective treatment option for patients with whiplash associated disorders (3,4). However, there is even more evidence that shows adjustments paired with functional exercises can be even more impactful on a patient’s range of motion and neck pain (5). If you have and/or someone you know has been in a car accident and has never been treated






Sources

  1. Freund, B., & Schwartz, M. (2004). Whiplash associated disorders. Journal of Whiplash & Related Disorders, 3(1), 49–58. https://doi-org.palmer.idm.oclc.org/10.3109/J180v03n01_06

  2. Bussières, A. E., Stewart, G., Al-Zoubi, F., Decina, P., Descarreaux, M., Hayden, J., Hendrickson, B., Hincapié, C., Pagé, I., Passmore, S., Srbely, J., Stupar, M., Weisberg, J., & Ornelas, J. (2016). The Treatment of Neck Pain-Associated Disorders and Whiplash-Associated Disorders: A Clinical Practice Guideline. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 39(8), 523–564.e27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmpt.2016.08.007

  3. Wong, J. J., Shearer, H. M., Mior, S., Jacobs, C., Côté, P., Randhawa, K., Yu, H., Southerst, D., Varatharajan, S., Sutton, D., van der Velde, G., Carroll, L. J., Ameis, A., Ammendolia, C., Brison, R., Nordin, M., Stupar, M., & Taylor-Vaisey, A. (2016). Are manual therapies, passive physical modalities, or acupuncture effective for the management of patients with whiplash-associated disorders or neck pain and associated disorders? An update of the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders by the OPTIMa collaboration. The spine journal : official journal of the North American Spine Society, 16(12), 1598–1630. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2015.08.024

  4. Shaw, L., Descarreaux, M., Bryans, R., Duranleau, M., Marcoux, H., Potter, B., Ruegg, R., Watkin, R., & White, E. (2010). A systematic review of chiropractic management of adults with whiplash-associated disorders: recommendations for advancing evidence-based practice and research. Work (Reading, Mass.), 35(3), 369–94. https://doi-org.palmer.idm.oclc.org/10.3233/WOR-2010-0996

  5. Castaldo, M., Catena, A., Chiarotto, A., Fernández-de-las-Peñas, C., Arendt-Nielsen, L. (2017). Do subjects with whiplash-associated disorders respond differently in the short-term to manual therapy and exercise than those with mechanical neck pain?, Pain Medicine, 18(4), 791–803, https://doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnw266





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