If you've been involved in a car accident, the recovery process can sometimes be the hardest part. This is particularly true if you suffer the most common back injury sustained in an auto accident: whiplash.
Here are some of the ways that a chiropractor such as the Aurora Chiropractic Clinic, can help you recover from whiplash to get your back, back on the path to recovery.
Making the Right Move
The pain associated with whiplash occurs primarily because the joints along your spinal cord become immobilized by the violent trauma of the accident. This trauma renders the connective conduits of nerve, joint, bone, and muscle that link your spine throughout your back stiff, swollen, and/or damaged.
- Moving in the right direction: spinal manipulation allows your chiropractor to move the joints along your spine in the direction of the immobilization. By gently palpating each joint in the direction of the immobilization your chiropractor is essentially moving the joint back into place. When done frequently, this manipulation can realign your spine and help you permanently recover from your whiplash.
A frequent sensation you might feel after a whiplash injury is a persistent tightness throughout your back. This tightness stems from the misalignment, immobility, and inflammation that's likely running up and down your spine.
- E-Stem and Massage: electric stimulation (e-stem) sends an electric current through your muscles, which can trigger them to stop contracting. This can create a cascading chain of relaxation throughout your back. Because the e-stem is painless, it is also very soothing. Some chiropractors will couple e-stem treatments with massage therapy. Massage therapy for whiplash may target scar tissue and tight connective areas while your back is more relaxed from the e-stem treatments.
In addition to traditional chiropractic treatments, many practitioners will also teach you physical therapy exercises to complete at home between sessions to strengthen your back and deliver long term results.
- Planking and Lengthening: one of the easiest ways to improve your back strength after a whiplash injury is to engage your core muscles. These core muscle groups help provide stabilization, which can drastically reduce the burden placed on your back. Planking is an exercise that requires no implements but can deliver big results. To plank, you simply need to assume a push-up position and hold it for as long as you can keep your back straight. You can also lengthen your spine by assuming a downward dog pose between bouts of planking. The downward dog simply requires you to go from a push position to elevating your hips to maximum height. Push back with your hands until you feel the stretch from your back all the way to your toes.