After sustaining whiplash injuries, it is fairly common for people to suffer from chronic neck pain. A chiropractor can detect certain factors in a patient’s history and chiropractic exam to better determine patients who may be more susceptible to chronic pain from a whiplash injury.
This process will help the doctor of chiropractic identify when aggressive preventative measures should be taken for patients who may be at a greater risk of developing chronic neck pain from whiplash injuries.
Chiropractic Treatment Approach to Whiplash Injuries
The chiropractor’s general approach to managing the patient’s chiropractic care is critical to the success of preventing chronic pain from whiplash injuries.
- In the early stages of management, it is very important for the chiropractor to rapidly reduce the patient’s neck pain, back pain and/or other symptoms.
- Soon after, the chiropractor’s whiplash treatment must be shifted toward restoration of the patient’s function. This means helping the patient return to work, home and recreational activities as soon as possible after sustaining the whiplash injuries. This process may involve a gradual transition to these activities, even if the patient is not sure that he or she can engage in them fully.
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- Restoring confidence after a whiplash injury on the part of the patient in his or her ability to get back to normal activity levels is also important for rehabilitation.
- Exercise, both for the purpose of correcting faulty movement patterns and instability, and for general fitness, is important in this effort to treat whiplash injuries.
Teaching the patient the nature of chronic pain (that "hurt does not necessarily mean harm") and placing focus on those activities the patient can do, rather than those he or she cannot, are major parts of chronic pain and disability prevention after whiplash injuries.
Chiropractors integrate the strategies explained above to develop the most effective approach for recovering from a whiplash injury and preventing future episodes of back pain.