Automatically, when someone talks about a whiplash injury, you immediately think of neck pain. That’s because, during an accident, the neck’s structure tends to get affected the most. And when the neck gets injured, it could trigger all sorts of problems like neck stiffness, arm muscle spasms, and even migraines or headaches. Fortunately, remedies like upper cervical care offer long-term relief.
If spotted and fixed early, the damages done by a whiplash injury won’t cause you serious health concerns. Let’s deep dive into the different effects of whiplash a bit more to help you choose the right remedy to use.
What causes whiplash injury?
The neck serves two primary purposes: one is to hold the head up and provide it with the ability to move freely, and the other is to be the brainstem’s protector. It has a unique and remarkable structure which consists of two bones we call C1 and C2, ligaments, and other tissues.
When you suffer from an accident, say, a car collision or a sports-related injury, your neck structure gets compromised. That’s because its design also makes it quite susceptible to damage. Sudden jolting or overextension of the structure causes sprain or muscle tear in the surrounding bones. It can also displace the bone, causing mild to severe spinal misalignment.
Often, this injury occurs at low speed, somewhere around 5 mph. This why besides car collisions, it can also result from other events such as:
- Tripping or falling
- Ice skating/hockey
Athletes are quite prone to this injury, but it could also occur if you get injured while doing any of the sports activities we listed above. Often, the effects don’t appear right away. Most people only report symptoms or results of whiplash injuries years after they get well. The pain could last for days or months, depending on the severity of the damage.
What are the long-term effects of a whiplash injury?
About 60 percent of patients who had whiplash end up dealing with long-term side effects besides chronic pain. This happens quite a lot because whiplash doesn’t appear like a serious injury. Often, people tend to set it aside and assume that it would go away on its own.
However, in most cases, it doesn’t get resolved if the damage affected the spinal alignment. When the bones or ligaments aren’t in their proper orientation, they could trigger problems until you have the alignment fixed. Some examples of the issues you can potentially struggle with includes:
- Weak or numb legs and arms
- Chronic pain when you move your upper body
- Difficulty remembering things or concentrating on tasks
- Chronic headaches that mostly begin at the base of your head
- Muscle stiffness, especially on the neck, legs, and arms
It can also cause other uncommon side effects such as:
- Painful jaw
- Ringing in the ears
- Anxiety or depression
- Vertigo episodes
- Sleeping problems
- Vomiting or nausea
Self-care Techniques You Can Try to Cope with the Pain
Besides getting upper cervical chiropractic adjustments, you can use a few other techniques to reduce whiplash neck pain. It’s a good idea to use these self-care remedies and receive care from your upper cervical chiropractor. Check out the list of remedies below and how they can help you cope:
Avoid neck-straining activities
This includes holding your phone in between your shoulder and neck while you’re on a call. These activities put undue pressure on the neck bone and muscles, triggering worse bouts of pain.
Exercise and keep yourself physically active
It’s still quite possible to exercise even if you have a painful neck. In fact, it can help prevent muscle stiffness around the affected areas. Just be sure not to overexert yourself. Opt for gentle exercises like mild and slow stretches.
Apply hot compact
After the injury heals, applying a hot compress on the affected area can help speed up healing. It promotes good blood flow, which enables your damaged muscle tissues to repair themselves.
Avoid sitting down for long hours
If you frequently have to sit in front of a computer, we recommend spending a few minutes standing up while working. This would help you stretch out the muscles and prevent them from becoming stiff. You can even try doing work desk exercises, especially if you don’t have spare time to work out.
Relieving Whiplash Neck Pain with Upper Cervical Care
Upper cervical care has been gaining traction for a reason. Many people who suddenly suffered from the effects of a whiplash injury such as neck pain have found hope and relief from getting chiropractic adjustments. It’s completely backed by science, and it’s a holistic way of healing damages in the body.
The process begins by identifying and assessing the neck bone misalignment. Then, once your upper cervical chiropractor has the information needed, you get customized adjustments to correct your neck bones’ alignment. The procedure itself is gentle, allowing your body to heal independently. After a few adjustments, you can potentially see vast improvements in your symptoms.
If you have tried every approach to address whiplash-caused neck pain but didn’t see results, you may try getting help from an upper cervical chiropractor. It’s an all-natural option that many patients have used to get rid of neck pain and other whiplash symptoms. Find out more about the procedure by getting in touch with an upper cervical chiropractic doctor near you.