There are all sorts of injuries that can result from a car crash, but the most common ones are to the musculoskeletal system. Specifically, they tend to affect the neck, head, and shoulders. At Chiro Care LA in Glendale, we frequently see people suffering from headaches or pain in their upper backs or shoulders who are surprised to learn the problem may be in their necks. To help patients understand how chiropractic care can help them, we thought we’d discuss how whiplash results from car crashes and what kinds of symptoms may develop.
During a rear-end collision, riders’ heads are often snapped back and forth. This is whiplash, and it may damage the cervical vertebrae and their connective discs, as well as the nerves that emerge from the spinal cord and the muscles traveling from the skull to the shoulders. Some of the nerves that pass through the cervical vertebrae descend into the shoulders and continue into the arms, while others rise back into the head and receive sensations from the face and jaw. When nerves are stretched or compressed, a person may feel shocks, tingling, or numbness along their length. Pulling muscles can also cause pain along their length, and their swelling may contribute to nerve or artery impingements. Ruptures in spinal discs can cause their central gel to bulge out and impinge nerve roots, and dislocated facet joints, which also link vertebrae to each other, may cause backups of cerebrospinal fluid.
Chiropractors such as Dr. Jack Alajajian use gentle adjustments to move dislocated tissues back into place. In addition to relieving impingements by mobilizing tissues, we apply several non-invasive therapies to reduce swelling, including the use of electric muscle stimulation and cryotherapy. Our office also utilizes spinal decompression machines to move herniated spinal disc gel back into each disc, and provides traction to gently stretch out neck muscles that have tightened from injuries or lack of use. But because neck muscles may continue to deteriorate if a patient is avoiding jostling them after being injured, we urge people who have been in vehicular crashes to seek care quickly and start rebuilding their strength and flexibility as soon as safely possible.
Dr. Jack Alajajian and his staff operate ChiroCareLA.com at 815 E Colorado Suite 250, Glendale CA, 91205. Call 818-246-3600.