The most common reason people continue to suffer from neck pain and headaches long after the accident is due to abnormal alignment and biomechanics of the cervical spine (neck). Proper management of whiplash-type injuries involves rehabilitating the spine as much as possible to maximize motion, alignment and strength.
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If you have suffered an auto accident and still suffer from chronic pain after treatment has concluded, here is what needs to be done to evaluate your neck to see what can be done to improve it:
A review of your x-rays is required. You should have had a set of x-rays taken on day one of your treatment and then again on a re-exam to see what improvements have been made and whether or not your neck has recovered from the injury. The angle or curve of your neck needs to be measured and compared to normal. This is best seen on a “side view” or “lateral projection.” Also, an analysis of the motion between each spinal bone must be made. This is done on bending films also known as “flexion and extension” views.
An analysis of your neck and upper back musculature for symmetry and spasm as well as compare the muscles in the back of your neck to those in the front. An imbalance often creates abnormal mechanics and chronic pain. An assessment of your neck muscle strength. Weakness of the muscles in the back of the neck causes abnormal motion.
An examination of your spinal nerves in the neck area to see if they are functioning properly must be done.
A competent chiropractor specializing in the area of auto accident injuries should be able to easily perform these checks for you and determine the underlying cause of the pain so that an effective treatment program can be initiated. But beware the “generalist” chiropractor or medical doctor who may treat whiplash, but does not specialize in whiplash. There is a big difference.
Many chronic whiplash pain cases are caused by ineffective treatment that was ended prematurely because the doctor did not understand the need to fully rehabilitate the neck for maximum recovery or just didn’t know how. I trust this information will help.