Whiplash is a unique condition that requires the expertise of a skilled health professional specially trained to work with these types of injuries.
The most effective whiplash treatment is a combination of chiropractic care, rehabilitation of the soft tissues and taking care of yourself at home. We will be going into more detail about each of these treatments below in future posts. For now we will introduce each one of them briefly.
Chiropractic care utilizes manual manipulation of the spine to restore the normal movement and position of the spinal vertebrae.
It is by far the single-most effective treatment for minimizing the long-term impact of whiplash injuries, especially when coupled with massage therapy, trigger point therapy, exercise rehabilitation and other soft tissue rehabilitation modalities.
Soft Tissue Rehabilitation
The term ‘soft tissue’ simply refers to anything that is not bone, such as your muscles, ligaments, tendons, nervous system, spinal discs and internal organs. During a whiplash injury, the tissues that are affected most are the soft tissues, the muscles, ligaments and discs – also known as connective tissue.
In order to minimize permanent impairment and disability, it is important to use therapies that stimulate the soft tissues to heal correctly. These include massage therapy, physical therapy, trigger point therapy, stretching and specific strength and range of motion exercises.
The most effective chiropractic care and soft tissue rehabilitation will be limited in its benefit if what you do at home or at work stresses or re-injures you on a daily basis. For this reason, it is important that your plan of care extend into the hours and days between your clinic visits to help speed your recovery. Some of the more common home care therapies are the application of ice packs. limitations on work or daily activities, specific stretches and exercises. taking the correct nutritional supplements and getting plenty of rest.
In severe cases of whiplash (typically grades 4 or 5), it may be necessary to have medical care as part of your overall treatment plan. The most common medical treatments include the use of anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, trigger point injections and, in some cases, epidural spinal injections. These therapies should be used for short-term relief of pain, if necessary, and should not be the focus of treatment. After all, a drug cannot restore normal joint movement and stimulate healthy muscle repair. Fortunately, surgery is only needed in severe cases of herniated discs, when the disc is pressing on the spinal cord, and in some cases of spine fractures.
Remember, medical procedures don’t come without risks and possible complications – so make certain to consider conservative natural remedies. Giving your body enough time to heal with natural supportive care is not only smart, but could prevent an unwanted adverse reaction, which could set you back months, years or even be permanent.
Your supervising healthcare professional should assist you with presenting the facts about your options.