Health

How Chiropractic Care Helps With Whiplash Recovery

Chiropractors can deliver an ideal non-invasive treatment for whiplash related injuries. Whiplash can cause long-lasting detrimental issues that affect not only the area directly affected but also those closeby. Acute short term pain can develop into long term throbbing, so it is important to seek effective treatment as soon after the injury as possible. The good news is that whiplash recovery is perfectly possible in the hands of a skilled chiropodist, and there are a number of tried and tested techniques that they use to deliver effective treatment.

How Chiropodists Diagnose Whiplash Injuries

Expect the Chiropodist to undertake a thorough assessment of the spine during the initial assessment. Even if the injury applies to a specific area (for example the neck or lower back) it is important to understand how these injuries could be affecting other areas before starting to administer treatments. They will look for areas with restricted/painful movement, difficulty in stretching, tightness, tenderness, and overt signs of inflammation. Such examinations only involve manual manipulation and are usually aiming to see how well the spine is aligned and exactly where the whiplash is causing issues. It is common for x-rays or even MRI scans to be used alongside this process to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the problem.

Initial Chiropractic Treatments For Whiplash Related Pain

The period immediately/soon after the whiplash injury has occurred is known as the ‘acute-phase’ where the focus will almost entirely be upon reducing inflammation and associated pain. Manual therapy and stretching exercises alongside ice packs and possibly heat treatment are used during these early days. It is important to understand that more emphatic treatments cannot be undertaken until this acute inflammation has passed. The focus is almost entirely on immediate pain reduction and ensuring that the spine and neck are capable of regular motion and movement as soon as possible. Once this is complete it is time to look at the next stage of treatment.

Key Chiropractic Treatments For Whiplash Recovery

There are three main forms of spinal manipulation that are used as the basis for treating whiplash related injuries. Each of these looks to manipulate the spine and it is important that the Chiropodist decides which of these is most appropriate. It is not uncommon for a combination of these to be used if the injury is more extensive or spread over a broader area.

Flexion-distraction therapy is most commonly used for treating whiplash related herniated discs. Such treatments are usually entirely manual. Patients who are older, have more complicated injuries, or non-associated degenerative conditions may have instrument-assisted manipulation that uses specialized tools to apply specific pressure. Both of these are often followed by specific spinal manipulation treatment that focuses on stimulating the nervous system in ways that help to reduce pain.

Alongside treatments that focus specifically on the spine, patients should also anticipate plenty of further manual therapy directed towards treating soft tissue damage. These can range from therapeutic massage through to applying specialist instruments, resistance training, and ‘trigger point’ therapy that involves applying pressure to specific areas of damaged tissue.

Specialist Whiplash Treatments

Chiropody is a mixed discipline that often involves using specialist therapies more commonly used within other medical practices. Ultrasound is increasingly popular within chiropody as the sound waves provide a gentle deep heat that can be especially useful for treating severe cases of whiplash. It is also superb for dealing with the long term consequences of whiplash injuries such as neck stiffness, inadequate circulation, and muscle spasms. Interferential Electric Stimulation is another commonly used procedure that is geared towards using low-frequency electrical currents to target specific areas of inflammation and pain. Both of these examples are increasingly used by Chiropodists at all stages of whiplash treatment and are likely to be part of most people’s treatment schedules.

Final Thoughts

Whiplash is one of those conditions that are essential to treat correctly from the very start. The advantage of using a Chiropodist for treating whiplash injuries is that there are many methods available that are suitable for treating injuries of any severity. From niggling recurrent pains through to deep impact stress, chiropody should be able to identify the root of the issue and apply the most effective methods for reducing those pains over the long term.