Whiplash Injury Treatment in Bel Air, Maryland

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is injury to the neck, characterized by a collection of symptoms that occur following trauma to the neck. In whiplash, the inter-vertebral joints, discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots may become damaged. This is usually found following a car accident but can also be found following a concussion or a trip to an amusement park.

What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

Whiplash symptoms may not surface right away. Sometimes the pain is immediate, and sometimes it may take up to 6 months – 2 years to surface. People who experience whiplash may develop one or more of the following symptoms, usually within the first few days after the injury.

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder pain
  • Low back pain
  • Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears or blurred vision
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue
  • TMJ pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Stomach pain
  • Post-traumatic stress

Why Seek Treatment For Whiplash?

As with other injuries and disorders, the earlier you treat the injury, the better the outcome. One of the many bad things about whiplash is that it not only causes immediate damage, it sets in motion accelerated, chronic and progressive degeneration (pre-mature arthritis) that will follow you and worsen you for the rest of your life if not fixed. This is true not only of whiplash, but all other car accidents as well.


How Is Whiplash Treated?

Whiplash has 2 main issues that need to be addressed.  First being damage to joints of the vertebrae in the neck.  Gentle chiropractic adjustments to the neck correct the alignment of and damage to the spine.  Allowing the spine and all the nerves to function properly.  Second, the muscles and other soft tissues need to be healed.  In whiplash, the muscles, tendons and ligaments are over stretched and injured. Physical Therapy helps heal this damage.

Physical therapy modalities such as electrical stim, manual therapy, and mechanical traction are used to control pain.  Physical therapy exercises will then be used to strengthen the muscles.

Here in Bel Air, MD, many patients have found relief utilizing chiropractic care and physical therapy to repair the damage caused by auto accidents. Our doctors will design a customized treatment plan to suit your specific injuries.

Think you may have a whiplash injury? 

Contact Susquehanna Spine & Rehab today to set up an appointment for a chiropractic evaluation.

complimentary chiropractic consultation

What Causes Whiplash?

Whiplash is caused by an abrupt jerking motion of the head, either backward or forward, and often occurs as a result of a car accident.

Every day, thousands are injured in auto accidents that they seem to “walk away from” with little to no visible vehicle damage. They erroneously assume that since the car is barley damaged, then they aren’t injured either. But that’s just not true. In a German study of injury producing rear-impact collisions, nearly half were less than 6 mph. A recent study in New York produced similar results.

A rear-end accident is not the only way to get hurt, it’s just the most common and damaging, especially at low speeds. This is true because your body is held by your seat, creating inertia that turns your head and neck into a bobble head toy when impacted from the rear.

So what happens when you’re in an auto accident? A lot of it has to do with the laws of physics. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred from one system to the next; and energy follows the path of least resistance. The path of least resistance is you — and in a rear end collision, the neck is the weakest link.

In an accident, a 4,000 pound car going 5 miles per hour is generating a lot of energy (4,000 lbs. x 5 mph). This enormous amount of energy is following along the easiest path… you. In whiplash, it causes your spine to hyperextend vertically, then horizontally, and then hyperflex; ripping, tearing, squishing and smashing tissues along the way; all in under a second or two. Other accident dynamics (T-bone, head-on, side-swipe, etc) follow different but predictable and definitely damaging patterns.

I haven’t had a car accident could I still have whiplash?  

Yes any back and forth jerking motions can cause whiplash.  An injury to the head that would cause a concussion may also cause whiplash.  Amusement parks are great places to get whiplash especially in teens and pre- teens that are just barely big enough to ride the larger rides.