The first thing most people think of when they hear the word whiplash is a car accident, and a bad one at that. Whiplash happens when your head and neck shift back and forth rapidly. This extreme stress causes damage to the soft tissues and vertebrae of the neck. What many people may not realize, however, is that a whiplash injury can happen from many other common activities including:
- Horseback riding
- Snow sports
- Cycling accidents
- Contact sports, such as football, martial arts, or hockey
- On-the-job accidents that cause a blow to the head or neck
Whiplash symptoms can range from mild to severe and can go beyond neck pain. Some whiplash sufferers experience jaw pain, vision changes, fatigue, and dizziness as well.
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Whiplash and the Upper Cervical Spine
When someone sustains a whiplash injury, the tissues of the neck are stressed beyond their normal range of movement. Muscles are strained, ligaments can be sprained, and vertebrae can misalign from their normal position. Any of these factors can be contributing to the ongoing neck pain and stiffness. In order for the healing process to take place properly, it is important to address the alignment issues of the spine. As an upper cervical chiropractor, I pay particular attention to the uppermost vertebrae in the neck. The atlas (C1) and axis (C2) vertebrae have the most range of motion and can be the most vulnerable to injury.
An upper cervical misalignment that goes uncorrected can lead to many problems. Not only will the neck not be able to move properly, leading to ongoing pain, but your body’s central nervous system is impacted as well. Signals that travel between the brain and body via the brainstem can be negatively affected by an atlas or axis misalignment. At Gilbert Wellness Center, we thoroughly assess each individual patient’s needs and use the Blair technique to realign the upper cervical spine gently. This can encourage healing of whiplash injuries and get you back to living your life.
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