The cervical spine contains seven small vertebrae stacked one atop the next that are tasked with supporting the entire weight of your head. These vertebrae and supporting muscles are responsible for holding up your head and enabling you to turn and tilt it in virtually every direction. In an auto accident, the sudden whipping motion of your head jarring in an unexpected direction and back again can cause an injury to this intricate system known as whiplash. Non-whiplash injuries can also cause neck pain. These injuries are often ignored or mistreated, which can lead to ongoing pain, stiffness, and debility.
Common Symptoms of Auto Accident Neck Injury
Even a minor auto accident can trigger neck pain. The pain may start immediately or it may appear several days after the accident. Signs that you’ve incurred a neck injury from your auto accident include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Ringing in the ears
- Shoulder or arm pain and stiffness
- Back pain
In more severe cases, ongoing symptoms can lead to depression, anxiety, and anger.
Assessing Neck Pain
Chiropractors specialize in treating neck pain and are a good place to turn to for help. At Chiropractic First, Dr. Heath will conduct a thorough consultation and examination to identify the nature and cause of your neck pain. During the exam, he will check for impairments in your ability to move your neck and look for tenderness, numbness, or tingling in your shoulders, arms, or hands. If appropriate, x-rays will be taken.
Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain
Neck pain from an auto accident can be treated with spinal manipulations and/or manual therapies. Gentle spinal manipulations performed by a skilled chiropractor can help restore full movement of your neck. In addition, Dr. Heath will use manual therapies, such as joint stretching, therapeutic massage, or trigger point therapy, depending on your needs.
If appropriate, you may also receive medical therapies such as electrical stimulation or ultrasound treatment to alleviate your symptoms. Electrical stimulation uses low-frequency electricity that stimulates neck muscles to help them loosen up and relax. Ultrasound therapy sends painless sound waves into your neck tissues to help relieve pain and stiffness.
Dr. Heath may also recommend therapeutic exercises that you can do at home to improve your neck range of motion and reduce the pain or immobility that can result from an auto accident neck injury.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Wyoming Chiropractor
Failure to properly treat neck pain can lead to chronic, hard to relieve symptoms. For help with neck pain in Wyoming, come see Dr. Heath at Chiropractic First, and let us help make that pain go away as quickly as possible!