Whiplash: 3 Types of Treatment Options - N8 Family Chiropractic

Whiplash: 3 Types of Treatment Options

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Whiplash is an injury that can hurt the neck and cause pain, dizziness, and trouble moving one’s head. This is often a result of car accidents that happen at high speeds and come to an abrupt stop. However, it can also be caused by any sudden movement of the head. 

There are many whiplash treatment options that can help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with this condition. These include physical therapy, medication, chiropractic care, and surgical intervention. The best option will depend on the patient’s symptoms and medical history. 

Read on to learn more about the different treatment options and which one is right for you.

Who is a candidate for whiplash treatment?

Studies have found that women are far more likely to sustain car-crash-related injuries like whiplash than males. The same goes for elderly people with neck arthritis. 

If you’ve had any soreness after an auto accident, it is worth looking into the treatment options available. Some of these treatments are covered by the law, which allows patients to save money by law which covers these cases without costing patients unnecessary money.

How do whiplash injuries occur?

whiplash treatment options

A whiplash injury happens when you have a collision that causes the car to move quickly forward or backward. In effect, this causes the neck to snap forward and backward quickly, stretching and straining the muscles. They also happen as a result of sports injuries. 

What are the complications of a whiplash injury?

If you have a serious whiplash injury, there may be damage to your nerves or joints. Most people recover from these injuries. But in some cases, the pain and disability may become worse. You might develop depression or post-traumatic stress symptoms.

The three types of treatments for whiplash

Non-Surgical Treatments

Non-surgical treatment is the first option to consider when suffering from this type of injury. This method uses garment modifications to immobilize certain parts of your body. It reduces movement, which relieves stress on muscles and ligaments that may have been strained. However, it’s crucial to work with a professional to prevent damage to healthy tissue.

Some of these treatments include massage therapy, hot and cold packs, oral medication, and acupuncture.

Massage therapy 

Relieves muscle soreness by relaxing tight muscles through physical manipulation with heated hands or various strokes on the affected area. This technique can be used both before going back to daily activities as well as during recovery from injury or surgery because it helps decrease pain perception in patients at any stage. 


Involves inserting small bloodless needles near specific points along nerve channels known as “meridians.” These channels are mapped out in the body and correspond to organs such as the liver, kidneys, and others.

Hot and cold packs 

Meant to relieve the injured area of pain by reducing swelling and inflammation.

Of all the non-surgical treatments available, banding is probably the most effective and the least expensive method. Bandages can be applied within 24 hours of sustaining the injury. Furthermore, there are only a few factors associated with this treatment because it involves physical contact to minimize discomfort while promoting healing.

Chiropractic Care

The treatment plan any patient receives depends on how badly they were injured. People in the most pain will usually need spinal manipulation. There are a few different ways to do it.

Flexion-distraction technique

This technique is a gentle type of spinal manipulation. It is a treatment for herniated discs with or without arm pain. The whiplash injury may have caused the discs to bulge or herniation. A chiropractor uses a pumping motion instead of direct force to treat the injury.

Instrument-assisted manipulation

Using a special instrument, the chiropractor will apply pressure without thrusting it into your spine. This is good for old people with arthritis.

Specific spinal manipulation

This is a type of chiropractic manipulation that does not involve thrusting. This type of manipulation may be used on older patients who have joint problems.

How long does it take to get better from a whiplash injury?

Many people recover from a whiplash injury within three months, but some may still have symptoms past this period. If the injury was severe with plenty of pain, then it’s possible that recovery may take much longer.

Tips on staying healthy during the recovery period

Observing a healthy lifestyle is a must during the recovery period after treatment. It’s best to eat a healthy diet, exercise as directed by your physician, get enough sleep, and spend time with friends and family. It also helps to focus on hobbies that you can enjoy to cultivate a positive mindset. 

The Bottom Line

There are various ways to treat whiplash. Depending on the symptoms and preferences for recovery time, each option provides a different type of relief.  For example, surgical options that aim to remove damaged discs in the spine can take up to eight weeks to heal. Alternatively, if surgery is not an option for one reason or another, chiropractic care can be used. Lastly, home remedies such as the use of hot and cold packs can also be observed no matter the treatment option. Discussing which treatment option is best with your physician can result in faster and more effective recovery periods. 

If you’re recovering from a whiplash injury, then it’s important to start treatment right away. By booking a free consultation with us at N8 Family Chiropractic, you can receive the treatment you need. Contact us today!

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Whiplash: 3 Types of Treatment Options
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