What is whiplash?  Most people associate whiplash injuries with car accidents and that is one cause but its whenever the head violently whips back and forth or side to side.  This type of injury has several components that can attribute to several conditions and challenges.   Quit often this injury is not addressed right away or is put off because there is not enough pain,  discomfort or the person is distracted by dealing with the damages to their car or the hassles with the insurance company.  So often I get to see these injuries years later, now making the patients life miserable and also harder to treat.

Whiplash can  lead to joint and  soft tissue dysfunction, involving the muscles and/or the ligaments.  Joint dysfunction from whiplash occurs when one of the joints in the spine loses its normal joint play.  When a joint develops dysfunction, its normal range of movement may be affected and it can become painful and inflamed.  A safe and gentle from of treatment for this is using the Activator Method in which we specialize at this office.  When joint dysfunction develops, muscles are affected by becoming tense and overactive or inhibited and under active.  In either case, these muscles can develop trigger point that may necessitate treatment.    The muscle can also send abnormal neurological signals into the nervous system, which can then cause disruption of the ability of the nervous system to properly regulate muscles in other parts of the body, leading to the development of faulty movement patterns.  Instability is also considered part of faulty movement patterns.  There are two types of instability that can occur in whiplash:  Passive-the ligaments of the neck are loosened, making it more susceptible to whiplash pain; and Dynamic-the nervous system disruption causes a disturbance in the body’s natural muscular response to common, everyday forces.

You may now ask yourself, so what should I do for my injury if I get a whiplash?  The first thing you should do if you suspect a concussion or broken bone(s) is go to the ER. Next, is to put ice on the affected area ASAP, you want to minimize the inflammatory response because more inflammation = more issues.  Just like with inflammation the faster you address it,  the better the results and that is the same with treatment.  The faster you can get in the office, the faster we can get things back to a more normal state and minimize the inflammatory response and get you into the healing phase.  Treatment at this office focuses on all aspects of the injury, so we address the joint dysfunction with the Activator and the tissue dysfunction with physiotherapy.  The main goal of treatment is to restore joint and tissue function so the body can heal as fast as possible but more importantly, correctly!

As a side note with any auto accident you want to document the accident as much as you can possible and this can be a challenge because after an accident you have  fog that comes over you and are really distracted .  So if you can obtain names of any eye witnesses, photos of the vehicle involved and photos of the area this will help you in your case.  When you can, write down facts about the accident, what you felt like upon impact, were you aware of the impact, did any articles in your car get displaced and so on.  These details help paint a better picture of the accident and this will help substantiate your case. Always call the police so they can document the accident and asses fault.  Seek care ASAP and another tool that will help is obtain a legal representative.  The reason for this is that an expert in the field of personal injury can guide and counsel through these murky waters of confusion.  I give this advice because I always want my patients to focus on getting better and not dealing and stressing with the insurance companies.


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