Usually associated with automobile accidents, whiplash can occur in any situation that causes a sudden head movement backward, forward, or sideways. Whiplash happens quickly and unexpectedly, and its painful effects can be long lasting without immediate, proper treatment.
Why Does it Hurt So Much? Whiplash results in torn or strained muscles and ligaments, and misalignment of the bones in the neck and spine. Your ligaments and tendons may also become inflamed, prolonging the pain for weeks, or even months. The injury may have altered the natural forward curve in your neck, possibly straightening it, so it stretches the spinal cord. Your arms and hands may tingle because their nerves exit the spine through the injured area. Even lower back pain can result from the loss of proper spinal curves. Headaches are also common. All of these symptoms may appear soon after the accident, or may appear weeks or months later.
Chiropractic care helps restore normal motion and position to spinal bones and reduces inflammation of tissues and nerves.
What's the best course of care? Pain pills and muscle relaxers won't heal inflamed ligaments or torn muscles, but chiropractic spinal adjustments can help. Your chiropractor restores proper motion and position of spinal bones in your neck, which reduces inflammation and promotes proper healing. The most important factor in becoming pain-free and restoring proper function is to receive care immediately. People who delay seeking care often discover that scar tissue and spinal instability require prolonged chiropractic checkups.