When You Have A Painful Delayed Response To A Car Accident

A few days after a minor car accident, you begin to have headaches and neck pain. This is a typical delayed response to trauma to the muscles in your neck and upper back. Called whiplash, this is an injury that your local auto accident chiropractor specializes in treating. Here is why you are having the pain now and what a chiropractor will do to relieve you of the painful symptoms.

Muscle Trauma With a Delayed Pain Response

During the accident, your head was forced back, then forward suddenly in a fraction of a second. Muscles in your neck developed small tears that caused inflammation. The swelling protected your neck from being damaged more. As the inflammation goes away over the next few days, the muscle tears begin to ache. The pain can begin in your neck and radiate up into your head, creating the headaches.

Treatment of the Muscle Damage in the Neck

Your neck is a complex arrangement of bones, muscles, tendons and nerves. Your chiropractor is trained in the interrelationship between these elements and how to restore them to their natural state. They will offer you several treatment options to relieve your neck pain and headaches.

Spinal manipulation - If the force of the trauma caused the vertebrae in your upper neck to become misaligned, you have what is called a subluxation. This causes irritation of the muscles and nerves in your neck and contributes to the whiplash pain. The chiropractor will take X-rays to look for this alignment issue, often within the first two vertebra in your neck. They will then use spinal manipulation to help the vertebrae to ease back into their natural positions. This puts less stress on the soft tissues in your neck so the muscles can heal properly.

Trigger point therapy - Your chiropractor will look for tense muscles in your neck and apply pressure and massage on them to get them to relax and stretch back out to their normal length. This further reduces the inflammation in your neck and the pain associated with it.

Physical therapy - The chiropractor may also prescribe physical therapy on the muscles in your upper back and neck. This helps you to regain the range of motion in your stiff neck. Strengthening the muscles also gives your neck more support and protection from future trauma. Hot and cold treatments, along with the physical therapy, help reduce the inflammation and improves circulation in your neck muscles.

For more information, contact offices like Citrus Chiropractic Group.