Thrive: Whiplash and the chiropractic lifestyle

Jerry Park, DC

Park Chiropractic, LLC

Collisions that occur during sporting events, slips, falls or automobile crashes can all have a damaging effect on your neck and back.  These types of collision-related injuries are often called a “whiplash.”

The resulting instability of the spine and soft tissues can contribute to headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, pain in the shoulders, arms and hands, reduced ability to turn and bend, and low back problems.  As the body attempts to adapt, symptoms may not appear until weeks or even months later.

I recommend an approach to these types of injuries of using specific non-force adjustments to help normalize spinal function. After a thorough case history and examination, I usually recommend a series of visits to help restore proper motion and position of spinal bones.  If caught early enough, inflammation can be reduced and scar tissue can often be minimized.

In relation to whiplash injury which is caused by the sudden movement of the head backward, forward or sideways, here are few things to remember:

A cervical collar, when worn too long, can further weaken supportive muscles and actually lengthen recovery time.

Most auto-related whiplash injuries occur when a car is stopped and occupants are unaware that they are about to be hit from the side or from behind.

Even though the car may have received little damage, occupants can suffer serious spinal injuries.

A common result of acceleration/deceleration injuries (whiplash) is the loss of the normal forward curve of the neck, causing chiropractic, orthopedic or neurological examination findings.

Occupants often suffer more than the car.  Whiplash is most commonly received from riding in a car that is struck from behind or that collides with another object.  When the head is suddenly jerked back and forth beyond its normal limits, the muscles and ligaments supporting the head and spine can be stretched or torn.  The soft, pulpy discs between spinal bones can bulge, tear, or rupture.  Vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position.

Chiropractors are experts in the care of the bones, nerves, muscles and connective tissues that make up about 60 percent of your body.  All of the joints in your body are part of this musculo-skeletal system and its optimal function is necessary for overall good health. 

I recommend a care program that may include specific non-force spinal adjustments, but also exercise, improved nutrition or other conservative methods of care based on your health history, age, current condition and lifestyle.

Dr. Jerry Park of Park Chiropractic is a qualified practitioner of chiropractic medicine, Directional Non-Force Technique expert, and feet orthotics professional.  He can be reached at Park Chiropractic, LLC, 224 So Main St., Centerville, 801-292-2299.  More information is also available at


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