Whiplash is a common injury that chiropractors treat, but what do you really know about this common, but painful injury?

Whiplash can be caused by a motor vehicle collision (quite often from rear-end collisions accidents), contact sports, physical abuse, and any motion in which an individual’s head is forcefully thrown back and forth. This movement can affect and injure the spine and the bones as well as the muscles, nerves, and ligaments of the neck.

Whiplash Symptoms

How do you know if you have whiplash? If you show the following symptoms, you may need to seek treatment for whiplash:

  • Stiffness when rotating neck
  • Decreased range of motion and tightness in neck
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Tenderness and pain in shoulders and upper back

You are more susceptible to a whiplash injury if you have a history of neck pain, are hit when in a stationary position, or have tight muscles. Symptoms of whiplash may occur immediately or may take days to emerge.

Preventing Whiplash

While they can happen in many ways, you can reduce whiplash injury risks with some simple preventive measures. The most effective way to reduce your risk of whiplash in a rear-end collision is to choose a vehicle with a properly designed seat and adjusted head restraint. Sitting in a car with a seat and head restraint that fits your body will keep your head and body aligned during an accident.

Not sure how your car’s seat measures up? You can align it yourself with three easy steps. Visit whiplashprevention.org to learn more.

Treating Whiplash Pain

While whiplash can disappear on its own, some injuries lead to lasting effects. A chiropractor will identify problems and offer treatment options to address pain stemming from a whiplash injury. Depending on the injury, these treatments might include a chiropractic adjustment, muscle relaxation, muscle manipulation, gentle stretches, and certain lifestyle changes.

A chiropractor who is specially trained to treat your whiplash injury can help reduce the chances of chronic pain developing as a result of your injuries. Dr. Bryan Hedlund of Hedlund Chiropractic is one of only 25 chiropractors in Minnesota to hold an Advanced Certificate in Whiplash Injury and Traumatology from the Spine Research Institute of San Diego.

In addition to offering for whiplash injuries, Hedlund Chiropractic also offers services including massage therapy, custom foot orthotics, and corporate wellness workshops. Visit Hedlund Chiropractic to manage your spine and get back to life!