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The Whiplash Syndrome: Posture and Exercise

Whiplash can result from a number of causes, not just from motor vehicle accidents. A fall on the ice or a slippery floor, a sports-related injury, or even one of those rides that throws you around at the county fair can result in the same type of injury. Whiplash occurs when the head is literally “whipped” either forwards and backwards or from side to side. It can include hitting the head but often does not. Symptoms vary considerably and therefore the term “whiplash associated disorders” or WAD has been adopted, based on the clinical presentation of the patient and on the specific tissues injured. Common symptoms include neck pain, loss of motion, headache, and sometimes arm pain or numbness resulting in difficulty driving, working, sleeping, and concentrating.

Spinal manipulation of the neck has been found to be highly effective in the treatment of whiplash or WAD, and hence, chiropractic is often the recommended first order of treatment for patients suffering from this condition. We have previously discussed the steps involved when presenting to a chiropractic clinic, from giving a detailed history to undergoing a thorough physical examination, and well as the many types of treatment options that exist. Exercise is one of the most important forms of treatment as they can and should be performed multiple times a day as directed by your doctor of chiropractic so that you can return to normal function with no pain as quickly as possible. Presented here are a few VERY EFFECTIVE exercises for patients suffering from WAD:

*For #3, ALWAYS apply a push or resistance with your hand through the FULL range of comfortable motion in that plane. That means, in one direction let the head “win” (like in arm wrestling) and when moving in the opposite direction, let the hand “win,” (but don’t let up pushing with the head). In other words, you are ALWAYS resisting against the movement in both directions moving as far as you can in both directions.


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