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Treating Whiplash Naturally

Strengthening Your Core

Having a strong core helps reduce the impact of any whiplash injury.  The muscles of your core are the deepest layer of muscles in your body.  These muscles include the tiny muscles connecting each pair of vertebras, the thin sheets of muscle connecting groups of vertebras, the four muscle groups that make up the abdominal muscle group, and the small muscles that help to stabilize the floor of the pelvis.

Core muscles are usually worked in typical strength-training routines. That is because these muscles are normally engaged when you work any of the major large muscle groups, providing stabilization during these large movements.

Pilates and yoga are two types of exercise which focus on strengthening the core muscles. Even aerobic exercise such as running, swimming, and biking include a side benefit of helping to train the body's core.

When the core musculature is appropriately toned and strengthened, the ability to withstand unusual physical forces is significantly increased. A strong core will help a person better tolerate the forces involved in a whiplash injury, reducing the degree of injury.

You could be driving home from the grocery store, stopped at a red light when - bam! - your car suddenly and without warning jolts forward and then backward.  You've been hit from behind by another car.  Probably by someone who was texting or chatting away on their mobile phone. Or perhaps you're a passenger in a vehicle when the driver suddenly and violently slams on the brakes causing your head to rock forcefully forward and backward.

Or maybe you enjoy an adrenaline rush and decide you would like to try bungee jumping. You jump off the platform, enjoying the exhilaration as you dive into space, tethered by an elastic cord which eventually jerks your body, traumatizing your muscles and joints with significant physical forces while you helplessly bounce back and forth.

Within several days, most likely later the same day or following morning, you begin to experience neck pain. You might also have headache, back pain, shoulder pain, dizziness, nausea, and pain or numbness radiating down one or both arms. You have whiplash - a traumatic injury to the muscles, ligaments, and spinal joints of your neck and upper back.1,2

If you're fortunate you'll feel better in a few days. If the trauma was moderate to severe, the various complaints will linger and may even worsen. As is the wise course of action with any illness or injury, if you're not getting significantly better right away it's important for you to see your doctor.  In the case of an injury to your head and neck, it is advisable to see your doctor as soon as possible, even if you think the injury is mild.

Your chiropractic physician is an excellent choice for the examination, evaluation and treatment of injuries due to whiplash. Millar Chiropractic Clinic has a branch that specializes in the evaluation and treatment of auto accident injuries and other less common types of personal injury.  Your experienced Millar chiropractic physician will be able to determine the nature and extent of the damage to your ligaments, muscles, and skeletal system. 

A series of x-ray is critical in the evaluation of whiplash, because even seemingly modest forces can cause the fracture of one or more vertebras in your neck. The proper evaluation of nerve function, including both the cranial and spinal nerves, is also extremely important. Pain and/or numbness radiating into one or both arms suggests injury to a cervical nerve root and requires a thorough assessment.

If no fractures have been identified, chiropractic treatment can begin immediately. Over time, chiropractic treatment will help to reduce the inflammation of injured ligaments and muscles, restoring the normal ranges of motion to your neck. With this powerful form of natural healing you'll begin to make incremental, steady progress, recovering the ability to participate in all your daily activities with reduced levels of pain and discomfort.

Chiropractic treatment provides optimal therapy for whiplash injuries, allowing your body to recover and return to normal by utilizing its own restorative powers.

1Kasch H, et al: Clinical assessment of prognostic factors for long-term pain and handicap after whiplash injury: a 1-year prospective study. Eur J Neurol 15(11):1222-1230, 2008
Chen HB, et al: Biomechanics of whiplash injury. Chin J Traumatol 12(5):305-314, 2009