When you sit in a fast car, or in a roller coaster, and it speeds up all of a sudden, your head jerks backwards, banging into the headrest. The same jerking motion happens when a vehicle on the move stops abruptly, but this time, it occurs in the forward direction. This rapid and sudden forward and backwards movement can lead to injury to the neck muscles. That neck injury is called whiplash. The effect of whiplash can range from a short-term, but acute neck pain to a restricted neck. The ordeal should not be overlooked at any cost, and you must visit a chiropractor as soon as possible.
A chiropractor, is a health care professional who evaluates your spine to assist the diagnosis of your well-being. When a whiplash patient visits a chiropractor, the chiropractor observes the complete spinal column to make sure the neck injury did not reach other regions of the spine. While examining your spine, the chiropractor looks for restricted joints, intervertebral disc injury and various soft tissue damage such as muscle spasm or ligament sprain. The chiropractor will also check your spine for tenderness, stiffness, and the mobility of your spinal joints. To do so, he or she may use motion and static palpation, a pinpointing procedure that involves touch.
While the above diagnosis is done with the patient lying down, the chiropractor also notices your gait, sitting and standing posture, and your spinal alignment. The observations made from these tests will allow him or her to identify your body and spinal mechanics, which is paramount for a correct diagnosis. Apart from the motion and static palpation, the chiropractor may also require you to get an X-ray or an MRI scan of your spine. This is important to find out if your neck and spine incurred a more serious injury. X-ray and MRI report also show any injury your spine may have incurred before the whiplash. A chiropractor examines your spine from each and every angle to design the best-suited treatment plan.