Whiplash, neck pain and Chiropractic

This blog post will discuss neck pain, headaches and other syptoms that may originate from a whiplash injury and the Chiropractic approach to these problems.
Neck pain is the most common complication from a whiplash injury. The neck pain may be immediate in onset or may be delayed as much as 48 hours in some cases. Delayed onset of neck pain is one factor that makes the effects of whiplash much harder to study. Some studies have even suggested that pain may appear several weeks after an accident. One line of thinking asserts that it is injury to the muscles and other soft tissues such as ligaments that accounts for the delay in symptoms in some people. Muscle injuries generally take longer to present than do injuries to the neck itself. Problems with the muscles and joints of the neck can refer pain into the face or head.
Most persons who suffer a whiplash experience a loss of range of motion (stiff neck) and even passive motions of the neck may be painful. The muscles are usually tender to the touch and some people may have such severe discomfort they actually hold their head with their hands.
The incidence of neck pain after a whiplash has been estimated at anywhere between 60 and 98%. Women are at higher risk of neck injury than men due to the fact that women have generally less muscle mass in the neck than men. Neck pain may often be a long lasting effect of whiplash. One proposed reason for extended pain is the effect of whiplash on ligaments. Whiplash injuries tend to stretch and loosen ligaments which causes the neck to have abnormal or altered ranges of motion. Damage to the muscles can act as an extended source of pain in the neck and stiff neck. Healing of the muscles and tendons is a slow process. The Chiropractic technique that most effectively addresses the issue of muscle injury is myofascial release.
Headaches are another very common effect of whiplash type injuries. Headache is second to neck pain in reported frequency. Heache is very commonly reported with moderate to severe injury to the neck in both sports and auto accidents. One study found that about 70% of persons suffering a whiplash reported headaches. Headaches often follow no observable pattern. They may be constant or intermittent and involve different areas of the head or face. The most common type of headache relating to whiplash is the muscle tension or tension headache. This type of headache is generally associated with pain in the base of the neck, front of the head or behind the eyes. Whiplash often may irritate arthritic conditions in the neck and exacerbate headaches. Injury to the muscles of the neck have also been associated with headaches. Forward head posture or loss of the normal curve of the neck is one factor that tends to prolong or aggrevate neck pain. Persons with straigh neck curvature or forward head position tend to be more sucsecptible to prolongs irritation from neck injury.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor with oven ten years of practice experience. Etter Chiropractic serves Olathe, Kansas, Lenexa, Kansas and the surrounding areas.

About drtom

I help people through chiropractic care and acupuncture.
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