That pain in your neck, dizziness, and unrelenting headache may be due to a whiplash injury. And it’s not always related to a car accident. Dr. Scott M. Lund is a well-respected chiropractor who serves the residents of San Diego and North San Diego County at Lund Chiropractic in Encinitas, California. He has the necessary expertise to correctly diagnose whiplash and create a personalized treatment plan that relieves your symptoms and restores the health of the underlying structures causing your pain. Call today to make an appointment or use Lund Chiropractic’s convenient online scheduling service.
What causes whiplash?
A whiplash injury occurs when your head is forcefully and quickly thrown backward and then forward. This is unexpected action throws your neck out of its normal range of motion and can injure bones and disks in the spine. It also causes trauma to muscles, nerves, and other tissues in the neck.
Many people only associate whiplash with traffic mishaps. And it’s true that this type of injury is common to auto accidents, especially rear-end collisions. A whiplash injury can result even in seemingly minor accidents occurring at a low rate of speed.
It can also result from a sports-related injury sustained during a tackle in football or unexpected contact during soccer, basketball, and other activities. Even a fall or stumble during a walk can initiate the movement that causes whiplash.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
Beyond the expected neck pain, whiplash can cause:
- Stiffness and loss of range of motion in your neck
- Increasing pain with neck movement
- Headaches that typically start at the base of your skull
- Discomfort in the shoulders, upper back, or arms
Symptoms you may not associate with whiplash include:
- Tingling or numbness in the arms due to nerve irritation
- Sleep disturbance, fatigue, irritability
- Blurred vision, dizziness, ringing in the ears
- Difficulty concentrating and impaired memory
The symptoms of a whiplash injury may occur immediately, causing mild to moderate neck pain, but can also build over time as your muscles and other tissues react to the injury.
What is the treatment for whiplash?
Dr. Lund first completes a thorough evaluation to determine the extent of your injury. Initially, he works to reduce neck pain and tissue inflammation with various therapies such as gentle stretching, ice packs, and ultrasound therapy.
This specialized ultrasound treatment uses sound waves to create a very gentle heat deep in your muscles. It increases circulation and helps speed healing as it reduces muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain.
Once your initial pain has decreased sufficiently, Dr. Lund focuses on restoring alignment and normal range of motion to your neck. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, he may recommend:
- Manual or instrument-assisted, non-thrusting spinal manipulation techniques to restore alignment of your cervical spine and reduce irritation of nerves and other soft tissue
- Therapeutic massage to decrease muscle tension in your neck, upper back, and shoulders
- Rehabilitative exercises to restore normal neck range of motion and decrease pain