Whiplash is a severe injury to the neck that is the result of the head being violently jerked in one direction and then another. This type of injury is commonly seen in people who have been involved in an automobile accident. When a vehicle abruptly stops, the head is thrown forward, while the rest of the body stops with the vehicle, and as the head continues to move forward at the same speed as the vehicle, it will be snapped backward when it can no longer move forward. This violent jerking results in damaged ligaments leading to structural instability (similar to when you turn or roll your ankle), and those ligaments and structures may never be the same again. Muscles are strained and are often spasming to protect these unstable joints, and this can lead to severe inflammation and pain. This can also often result in a reversal of the ideal curvature of the cervical spine, either immediately, or over time. If you yourself have been in an auto accident and have questions or concerns about the after effects of your whiplash injury, please give us a call at GYBTotal Health TODAY!
Want the short answer? YES! Neck injuries are often accompaniedbyinflammation, and can restrict blood flow to the head. The longer the inflammation remains, the less oxygenated blood the brain receives. The same occurs in the musculature of the head and neck. This can result in moderate to severe headaches. Most commonly, "tension headaches" are often caused by tightened muscles in both the neck and the head,and may be due to “cervicogenic” (coming from the neck) problems. When an injury occurs, ligaments and structures which have become unstable may result in unnecessary muscle tension designed to protect and “spasm” in order to stabilize the structure of the spine. Without properly stabilizing old neck or spine injuries, pain and headaches may become worse when the person tries to move their neck or look from side to side.
Chiropractic adjustments, physically therapeutic movement, and massage therapy are often used together to help control the pain associated with neck and back injuries. If the neck injury was severe, acute care physical therapy may be beneficial in terms of strengthening the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and back, while decreasing painful inflammation. Although a chiropractic adjustment will correct the balance and alignment in the spine, strengthening the muscles that support the neck and head can be extremely beneficial and will hasten the healing process. Deep tissue massage and physical therapy exercises work to restore blood flow to the injured area as well as help keep the muscles strong and resilient.
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