Who is Most at Risk for Whiplash Injuries?

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Whiplash is a type of injury that occurs when the neck is forcefully moved back and whiplash injuryforth. It is most commonly a result of rear-end auto accidents, and it causes a number of painful symptoms, including headaches as well as discomfort and stiffness in the neck. While whiplash injuries can happen to anyone, some people are more at risk than others.

Who is most at risk for whiplash injuries?

Generally speaking, the better your body is at stabilizing itself, the less likely you are to suffer whiplash. Therefore, you are more at risk for whiplash if your physical condition is poor, if you are unaware of an incoming impact, if you are over the age of 65, or if you are female.

While you may not realize it, your body has an automatic stabilization system that responds very, very quickly as soon as you become aware that you’re about to experience an impact. The muscles in your neck will quickly contract in order to protect your discs and ligaments from the impact. Drivers who can see a vehicle coming up behind them in the rear view mirror are more likely to be protected by this stabilization process, making passengers who can’t see the approaching vehicle more at risk for neck injuries.

This stabilization process is also more effective if your overall physical condition is high. Having a larger frame, stronger musculature and a well-functioning nervous system helps to ensure your body responds appropriately to an incoming collision. This can help explain why women are naturally more susceptible to whiplash than men. Because they tend to have less muscle mass in their necks, there is less protection, making injuries more likely. The same is true of people over the age of 65.

What can be done to recover from a whiplash injury?

Unfortunately, whiplash injuries are very common among drivers in the United States. More than 1 million drivers are affected by whiplash every year, and most injuries take place at speeds below 12 mph. Even seemingly mild impacts can result in chronic pain that can interfere with your ability to live your life. While in many cases there isn’t much to be done to prevent a whiplash injury, there are many options to address it. Chiropractic care is one such option.

The first priority after an accident should be to address any serious or life-threatening injuries, such as trauma to the head, significant blood loss, damage to internal organs, bone fractures, etc. If these injuries are not an issue, it is a good idea to get a thorough evaluation from your chiropractor so that he or she can assess the health of your musculoskeletal system. He or she will ask you to describe the accident in detail, perform a complete physical examination, and do any diagnostic imaging necessary to fully understand your condition. Depending on the results, your chiropractor will then work with you to build a treatment plan. This plan might include adjustments to help correct any alignment issues, massage and soft-tissue manipulation, laser pain relief therapy and other treatments designed to relieve pain and restore function. The goal is always to help you heal more completely and more quickly.

Whiplash injuries are common, but there is no need for them to rob you of your ability to live a pain-free life. Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help eliminate your neck pain.

How Do Chiropractors Practice Sports Medicine?

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Over the past few decades, chiropractic care has become closely associated with sports medicine. Its non-invasive, drug-free approach has made it a natural choice for athletes recovering from sports-related injuries as well as those interested in preventing them from happening in the first place.

But in more recent years, the role of chiropractic care in the treatment of athletes has Chiropractors Practice Sports Medicineexpanded considerably, to the point that many Doctors of Chiropractic now specialize in sports medicine. In the US, an advanced certification of CCSP (Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician) is becoming more common. Its practitioners focus not only on helping their patients prevent and recover from sports-related injuries, but also on helping them to improve their overall athletic performance.

With all these goals in mind, chiropractic care is now used by many amateur and professional sports teams. All 32 NFL teams and almost every NBA team have official team chiropractors. At the Olympic Games, chiropractic is now offered to all participants as a matter of course, and the medical staff for the games now includes 8-10 full time Doctors of Chiropractic.

Why is chiropractic care being used by so many athletes?

There are many reasons for the growing popularity of chiropractic care among athletes. But it really comes down to the fact that chiropractic helps athletes reduce the risk of injury, shorten recovery times and perform at their best—without introducing new risks to competitors’ health. Doctors of Chiropractic are experts in diagnosing and treating health conditions related to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. The same core skills that allow a chiropractor to evaluate spinal health and identify structural and biomechanical problems that may be causing pain and dysfunction in ordinary patients become even more valuable when working with performance-minded athletes and their trainers.

One of the areas where chiropractors can be particularly useful to athletes is in analyzing the efficiency of their movement. Running is a great example. Gait analysis—a combination of specialized techniques and technologies—is used to study an athlete’s running mechanics and identify specific ways to improve them. Another great example is swing mechanics as they apply to sports like golf and tennis. 40% of tennis players suffer from “tennis elbow” at some point in their lives. This condition, when treated by medical doctors, often requires 6 to 48 months to recover from entirely. But when treated by chiropractors, recovery time is often measured in weeks. But just as important, chiropractors have the training necessary to analyze the player’s swing and figure out what caused the tennis elbow in the first place, thus helping them to avoid a recurrence. There are also performance benefits associated with a technique called Kinesio Taping, which is used by some chiropractors to give physical support to muscles as they flex, allowing the muscles to work more efficiently.

So if you are an athlete—whether professional or amateur—there are many ways that a chiropractor can help you play your sport with fewer injuries, less down-time and more confidence in your own performance.

Call or visit our office to learn more! We’ll be happy to discuss your goals with you and describe our holistic approach to sports medicine.

Common Sensations Among Cyclists – Can Chiropractic Help?

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chiropractic for cyclistsA burning sensation in the shoulders, numbness of the arms and hands, and tightness in the neck are common sensations among both recreational and competitive cyclists. They might be easy to ignore at first, but if they come back again and again they can seriously interfere with both enjoyment and training progress. Upper and lower back problems are another common consequence of regular cycling. Can a chiropractor help with these problems? Continue reading