Whiplash is an injury that many people hear about, but few people truly understand until it happens to them. This type of injury occurs whenever the body is subjected to forces that cause the neck to rapidly move back and forth in an unnaturally hard motion. While car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash, this can also occur during sporting accidents or during a violent incident. Once it happens, you will then be vulnerable to neck pain that can be debilitating in your daily life.
There is often a delay between the inciting incident and when you feel the pain. For some people, the pain begins after the first day while other people may not experience serious discomfort for several days. Once the pain arrives, you may notice that it feels the worst around your neck and down into your shoulder blades.
You may also experience other problems such as stiffness in your neck, headaches and dizziness. Usually, this is caused by a combination of muscle strain and pinched nerves, and the chronic tension caused by the pain only makes you feel worse.
Your chiropractor may use a variety of methods to figure out if whiplash is causing your neck pain. Make sure to tell them all of the details of what happened during the days leading to the beginning of your pain if you cannot recall a specific incident. This is also a good reason why you should always schedule an exam with a chiropractor right after an auto accident because you may have injuries that you cannot feel at first.
When you have pain that originates from your neck, there are a variety of things that the chiropractor may include in your plan to help you feel better. Mild movement is often encouraged from the beginning as long as your injury is not too severe, and they may recommend special exercises that gently help to loosen up strained ligaments. Depending upon the severity of your whiplash, you can expect the pain to begin to ease up over several days to weeks as you work through your care plan.