Q: My doctor said I suffered a whiplash injury. What exactly does that mean?

A: Whiplash is a specific injury to the spine, which may produce long term, chronic problems for the injured person. Specifically the term means a rapid acceleration of the spine in one direction (Being struck from behind in an auto accident for example) followed by a rebound or recoil back towards the original position. This is a very specific injury that often results in damage to the ligaments, joints and muscle tissue surrounding the spine. Sometimes the discs can be injured as well as the nerve tissue. A victim of whiplash may experience any or all of these symptoms: Neck pain, headaches, visual disturbances, dizziness, arm pain, jaw pain, limited movement in the neck or back, tingling in the fingers or weakness in the arms or legs.

Q: How do I repair the damage?

Chiropractors take a very specific approach to correcting the damage caused by a whiplash injury: First, gentle, specific ”adjustments” are made to those joints that are ‘locked” by muscle spasm. Electrical muscle stimulation, massage therapy and ultrasound are used to reduce inflammation to also relieve muscle spasm. A specific rehabilitation program designed to stretch and strengthen damaged ligaments and muscle tissue rounds out the approach.

Chiropractors enjoy an excellent reputation in helping injured people recover their precious health. Whether you have been in a recent injury or are having long-term problems from an accident in the past, give us call for at 412-321-3213 for a free consultation.

Dr. Phillips has been practicing chiropractic and physical rehabilitation on Pittsburgh’s Norhside for 16 years. Visit the office website at www.theback.net for more information.