Whiplash occurs when the neck and head are thrown forward and back or side to side in a violent manner. If a spine has been whipped out of its normal balanced alignment, the first sign of an injury will usually be soreness and stiffness of the neck and/or back muscles. Although these are usually the first signs, you can have whiplash without even realizing it. Symptoms such as aches and pain, headaches, numbness, nervousness, irritability, and depression may not be experienced until months or years after the accident.
The most critical damage that occurs during whiplash is that, almost every time, the violent motion wrenches the bones of the upper spine out of normal alignment. These misalignments create a chain reaction in the body that further inhibits the body's ability to function normally. This lack of function extends to the body's ability to heal.
This misalignment of the spinal bones puts pressure on the nerves that exit the brain. The brain uses the nervous system to control all functions of the body. When the flow of the nerve impulses is compromised, the messages your body gets from the brain are distorted or slowed down. Without the proper instructions from your brain, the soft tissue cannot heal itself and will remain in a malfunctioned state. If your body does not get the proper care it needs to reestablish good communication through the nerves, the body may mend the injured spine in a distorted position which can contribute to chronic and more severe problems later.
Chiropractic is the only profession that specifically addresses these misalignments. Through gentle realigning of the spinal bones, chiropractic can correct the damage done by whiplash and help the body heal itself.