Whiplash Treatment in Chicago
Have you recently been in an auto accident? Call our Whiplash Injury Clinic today!
Pay attention to more than just your car, you could have a whiplash injury even if your car has little or no damage. Whiplash injuries can occur in accidents where the vehicle is moving as little as 5mph, many times with very little or no vehicle damage. There can be a greater injury to the occupant if there is less damage to the car. Instead of the car being damaged and absorbing the force of the other vehicle, you do. Think of a NASCAR driver when the car completely deforms and the driver walks away.
How do you feel? Often, whiplash and nausea go together! Watch for emerging back and neck pain. In many cases, symptoms of an injury don’t appear until a few days after the auto accident. Immediately following an accident stress hormones, such as adrenalin, are elevated and initial injures can go unnoticed. Some symptoms to look for include: neck pain, headaches, muscle stiffness or spasm, decreased mobility, dizziness, numbness or tingling in the arm and nausea. Are you also suffering from brain fog, irritability or difficulty sleeping? You may have a TBI, or traumatic brain injury, similar to what a football player can get. It is essential to your lifetime health and wellbeing to get this evaluated.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, call us now at 312-988-9655 to schedule an exam. It is essential to see a provider who has the training and equipment to diagnose and treat you correctly. We’ll help you diagnose any injury and put you on a path to recovery, starting with pain relief for neck pain to then even helping you choose the right neck pain relief pillow.
- Who pays?
If you were in an accident, your auto insurance may pay for some or all of your treatment at no cost to you. If the accident was another parties fault, their insurance will likely pay for care. This depends on a number of factors; our highly trained team will evaluate all your payment options.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash describes an injury to the neck that results from rapid acceleration and deceleration (ie the head is “whipped” forward then back). Typical of these types of injuries seen in relation to motor vehicle crashes. Whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly jerked back and forth beyond its natural limits. This motion can stretch or tear the muscles and ligaments that support the head and spine. The soft discs between spinal bones can bulge, tear and rupture, causing neck pain and back pain. The vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion.
Most auto-related whiplash injuries occur when occupants of a stopped car are hit unexpectedly by another car from the side or from behind. When one vehicle strikes another vehicle, the forces are transferred to the people inside the cars. In a whiplash injury the normal C-shape of the neck becomes an s-shape where the lower neck goes into extension and the upper neck spine goes into flexion. This can damage muscles, ligaments, tendons and discs.
Normal C Spine
S Shaped Spine in Whiplash
But auto accidents aren’t the only cause of whiplash. Whiplash injuries can also result from sporting accidents, slips, falls and head collisions.
How do I know if I have whiplash?
Whiplash can cause a wide range of pain and general discomfort, including neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, low back pain, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, vertigo and even irritability. Whiplash sufferers may also have difficulty swallowing, blurred vision and ringing in the ears. If these symptoms are left unchecked, the whiplash injury could cause long-term damage. A victim of whiplash can lose the normal curve in the neck, which leads to joint instability, neurological problems and spinal degeneration.
Whiplash and soft tissue damage is diagnosed by taking special x-rays in which the neck is stressed in bending forward and looking up to check for excessive anterior and/or posterior movement of the vertebra. Most medical providers do not do take this x-ray so it’s important to go to a healthcare provider that specializes in treating whiplash injuries.
While whiplash can be extremely painful, most health professionals advise against resting for long periods of time. Research has shown that patients who rest for several weeks or wear a soft collar actually have a longer recovery time than those who continue with their life as normal.
If patients are experiencing pain in the cervical area of the spine, it is recommended that they do not rest longer that two days and start neck exercises as soon as possible.
Whilst most whiplash injuries can respond well to conservative care, sometimes it may be necessary for a patient to be referred to a specialist. We have an excellent working relationship with orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management and will work with your primary care provider.
When whiplash trauma persists for a long period of time, it is known as whiplash syndrome. People suffering from whiplash syndrome often report feelings of numbness, sleep disruption, tingling in the arms and a reduced libido.
This type of injury can be very difficult to treat and the focus is on preventing further strain and returning the patient to normal everyday activities. For some patients these problems can last for months or even years, resulting in long term neck discomfort.
Can infants and children suffer from whiplash?
Whether your child is seated in the front or rear of the car, they could be effected by whiplash in the event of a crash. Statistics show that women and children are the most likely to report whiplash symptoms. As women and children are generally shorter than men, it is thought that their position in the car makes them more susceptible.
While you may breathe a huge sigh of relief when your child emerges unscathed from a car accident, pay particular attention to them for the next 48 hours. Watch out for signs of dizziness, nausea, changes in behavior or sleeping patterns. At our office we also evaluate children for injuries. However, don’t hesitate to take your child to an emergency room.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms we discussed, you should be evaluated immediately by a professional trained in spinal curve corrective work. Call our whiplash injury clinic today to schedule an appointment and find relief from neck pain.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Whilst you may not always be able to avoid a collision, there are things which you can do to limit risk. For example, always wear your seatbelt correctly with the strap over your shoulder and tight across your hips, even in the back seat. Make sure the headrest even with the top of your head and no more than 2 finger widths behind the back of your head. Also, never drive in an overly reclined position. And if you are participating in sports, ensure you are wearing the appropriate clothing, protective equipment and that it all fits correctly.
Call Gold Coast Chiropractic today to schedule an exam. We can help you address what to do about neck pain from your whiplash injury.