Chiropractic treatments for whiplash
Introduction to whiplash
Chiropractors are specialists in treating non-surgical
spine injuries and commonly
treat whiplash injuries from car accidents. The job
of the chiropractor in helping
his or her patients overcome the pain and disability
associated with whiplash is to:
Diagnose the source of the pain from the whiplash
Treat the most important dysfunction
Teach the patient to return to a more normal lifestyle
The process of rehabilitation from a whiplash injury
requires a concerted effort
between the chiropractor, the patient and any other
professional assisting in the
case. The likelihood of success of recovering from
whiplash is enhanced by a
continued focus on restoring normal function with
the help of the chiropractor.
After a whiplash injury, chiropractors take a systematic
approach to establishing
a diagnosis, including:
will review specific information regarding the car accident,
What was the vector of the crash (i.e., rear-end
collision, head on collision, side
impact collision, etc.)?
Was the patient wearing a seatbelt?
Did the patient or the vehicle strike any other objects
after the crash?
Was the patient aware of the impending impact?
How was the patient's head positioned at time of
What was the collision speed and damage amount?
The chiropractor will also ask questions about the
Where is the exact location of the patientís pain?
What is the quality and character of the patientís
neck pain or back pain?
What movements, positions or activities either increase
or decrease the patientís
neck pain or back pain?
Finally, the chiropractor will ask about any other
symptoms that may be related to
the pain, such as numbness, tingling, weakness, dizziness,
or blurred or double vision.
Chiropractorís examination of a whiplash injury.
Next, the chiropractor will examine the patient to
assess, in the immediate stage,
whether serious whiplash injury is present that may
require hospital and/or surgical
referral, and to identify specific tissues that have
The chiropractor will conduct a neurological examination
which involves a cranial
nerve examination, sensory, motor and reflex examination
of the extremities, and
tests for injury in the brain.
Maneuvers will be carried out by the chiropractor
that stresses certain tissues to
see if they have been injured by the whiplash.
The chiropractor will perform motion palpation, designed
to assess the mobility
and pain reactions in the joints of the spine.
The muscles of the spine will be examined by the
chiropractor for areas of
congestion called myofascial trigger points, which
are common sources of pain after whiplash.
Chiropractorís working diagnosis of a whiplash injury
From the history and examination, the chiropractor
will establish as a
"working diagnosis" ó a clinical impression
of the most salient features of the
Based on this diagnosis of the whiplash injury, the
chiropractor will then determine
whether any additional tests (such as x-rays, MRI,
EMG or blood tests) are
required. The chiropractor will obtain reports from
any tests that were done
through the emergency room or at previous consultations
with spine specialists
to avoid unnecessary duplicate testing at the chiropractic
Once all the necessary information has been gathered,
the chiropractor will make a determination as to the
best course of action required to bring about maximum
recovery from the whiplash injury in the shortest
time possible. This may mean
referral by the chiropractor to another spine specialist
or a chiropractic treatment plan.
Source: spinehealth.com - website: