Choosing a chiropractor for whiplash in Anchorage can seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, deciding whether to see a chiropractor for whiplash at all may be difficult for some. It’s natural to wonder if chiropractic care is the best choice.
Chiropractic treatment for whiplash is successful, according to the evidence. Chiropractic care is dependent on the severity of the whiplash injury, but in the majority of cases, some chiropractic care techniques are quite successful. In addition to alleviating more obscure whiplash symptoms, these therapies can also stop long-term problems.
Can a Chiropractor Help With Whiplash? The Evidence:
Evidence is the foundation of any successful treatment for an illness or damage. To assist patients as effectively and efficiently as possible, it is important to build on the corpus of scientific research that has already been done. The chiropractic approach to whiplash treatment is similar. And at Better Health Chiropractic, we always offer therapies that are supported by the best available research, which are then strengthened by our 20+ years of expertise treating Alaskans.
Here are just a few studies that show how effective seeing a chiropractor for whiplash is.
93% Improvement With Chiropractic Care
One retrospective study of 28 individuals with chronic whiplash injuries found promising results. The study states that over 40% of whiplash injuries result in chronic neck pain and other issues for which there was no known effective treatment at the time of the study.
All 28 patients were treated with chiropractic care. 26 of those patients improved following chiropractic care. That’s 93% improvement, which even from a small study such as this one, is promising.
Tailored Exercises and Chiropractic Care
Another study, this one of 30 patients, sought to understand the best chiropractic treatment for whiplash injuries. These patients experienced extended or delayed whiplash symptoms that interfered with their active lifestyles. The patients were split into two groups. One group received standard exercises and chiropractic care, whereas the other received specific “phasic” exercises for the neck along with chiropractic care. The treatment for each group lasted eight weeks.
The group that received specific exercises and chiropractic care showed a nearly 50% improvement over those eight weeks, compared to a less than 10% improvement for the other group.
This study shows the importance of a specific, multifaceted approach to treating whiplash. At Better Health Chiropractic, this is something we’ve been doing to great effect for over 20 years. We employ not only chiropractic doctors but also physical therapists and massage therapists for this very reason.
The Dangers of Medication for Whiplash Injury
Unfortunately, a common practice in certain medical communities has been to recommend or prescribe pain pills for whiplash injuries. This study looked for evidence supporting the use of pain pills, both over-the-counter and prescribed, as an effective treatment for whiplash. The authors of the study found no strong evidence for any long-term benefits. In fact, they recommend against pain pills, especially opioids, saying that the risks outweigh any potential benefits.
Using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be beneficial for relieving pain immediately following the onset of symptoms, but regular use for chronic whiplash pain can have negative side effects, the study said. These may include gastrointestinal and renal issues after long-term use.
This is why it’s important to seek safe, non-invasive treatment before continued use of NSAIDs or other painkillers becomes necessary.
Better Health Chiropractic Anchorage
8840 Old Seward Hwy, Suite E, Anchorage, AK 99515 (in the South Anchorage Retail Plaza, near Walmart, south of the Dimond Center)
Better Health Chiropractic Juneau
2201 Dunn Street, #2, Juneau, Alaska 99801 (across from the Frontier Suites)
Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash
The course of chiropractic care varies from case to instance. By evaluating your pain level, the site of the injury, any comorbid symptoms, and medical history, your chiropractor will choose the best course of action for you. To rule out any prior trauma or damage, with or without symptoms, he or she might also request an x-ray of the injured area.
Don’t be surprised when your doctor of chiropractic evaluated your whole spine. One of the main tenets of chiropractic care is that the body is one unit working in unison. Nothing operates on its own without influencing another part of the body. This is one reason chiropractic care has been successful in treating whiplash injuries; it’s thorough care that can be extremely effective in getting rid of whiplash.
Chiropractor for Whiplash Treatment Options
Since every injury is different, it’s hard to say exactly which one(s) you may experience when seeking chiropractic care for whiplash. However, here are some of the most common treatments that chiropractors perform for such injuries.
1) Initial Treatment
If you visit a chiropractor soon after the injury occurs, your neck may still be inflamed. If so, your chiropractor will likely employ gentle, anti-inflammatory options. These include cold therapy, ultrasound, stretching, electrical therapy, and laser therapy.
2) Spinal Manipulation
One of the major treatments in any chiropractic practice, spinal manipulation has been shown to help treat all kinds of spinal issues, including whiplash. There are several different types of spinal manipulation.
- Specific Manipulation – This is a type of spinal manipulation that involves a gentle but firm thrusting, usually done with the chiropractor’s hands to soft tissue areas. It is designed to stimulate the nervous system to help fix subluxations, which are abnormalities in the movement of the spinal joints and vertebrae.
- Flexion-Distraction – This is another hands-on spinal manipulation technique that is used to treat slipped or bulging discs. This type of treatment employs a pumping motion on the disc rather than the spine itself.
- Instrument-Assisted – Usually used for patients with degenerative disc disease, this technique uses special instruments in tandem with the chiropractor’s hands to treat whiplash injuries.
3) Chiropractic Massage
Sometimes chiropractic massage is used on whiplash injuries to help promote healing, reduce pain, and improve blood flow to the affected area. This can also help relieve stress in the shoulder and neck area, which is common after whiplash.
4) Stretching and Trigger Point Therapy
Since the muscles and tendons of the neck can become tight following a whiplash injury, your chiropractor may perform some gentle stretching to the area. This will help relieve pain and ease the tension in the neck. It can also help reduce tension headaches. Trigger point therapy is another way to relieve pain in specific areas with the use of persistent pressure applied by the chiropractor’s fingers.
5) McKenzie Exercises
Your chiropractor may employ McKenzie exercises to help reduce disc derangement common to whiplash injuries. The chiropractor will generally show you these simple movements during a session and then have you continue them at home as part of your recovery.
6) Guidance, Tips, and Exercises
Is Seeing a Chiropractor for Whiplash Safe?
Since chiropractic care is non-invasive and conservative, there is significantly less risk than other conventional treatment options such as injections, surgery, or prescription pills. However, since most chiropractic care for whiplash does involve manipulation of the cervical spine, you may want to know how safe it is.
How Long to Recover From Whiplash?
Whiplash Chiropractor: Conclusion
Over our 20+ years in Alaska, we’ve treated over 4,000 whiplash cases and over 9,000 general neck pain cases. We specialize in getting our fellow Alaskans back to their families, their active lifestyles, and the things they enjoy doing in our great state.
Call or message us today at our Anchorage chiropractic clinic. You’ll be in better hands at Better Health Alaska.
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