Whiplash is a term used to describe injury caused by a rapid jerking of the neck either forward and backward or side-to-side. It is most often associated with motor vehicle accidents, but can also occur from falls, blows to the head, or sports accidents to name a few. The sudden, forceful movement with whiplash causes the neck to move beyond its normal range of motion. This can cause misalignment of vertebra, tearing in the muscles, tendons and ligaments, which can lead to damage to the intervertebral disc, spinal nerves or even spinal cord.
A victim of whiplash may experience any or all of these symptoms:
Pain in the shoulders
Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
Numbness and/or tingling into the shoulder or arm
Often, symptoms of whiplash may not show for weeks or even years. Such an injury to the neck alters the proper biomechanics and can lead to misalignment (subluxation) and a loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine.
Gonstead chiropractors work to correct the biomechanical problem causing the symptoms related to whiplash. A symptom-only approach (i.e. pain medication) will not correct the problem. Patients who undergo chiropractic care are found to have the natural curve of their necks restored, whereas patients who do not undergo chiropractic care tend be left with a straightened or even reverse curve in their neck.