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When That Minor Fender Bender Causes Headaches That Won't Go Away

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A few days ago you got rear-ended by another car and both of you agreed that the drivers and the cars were fine. Now you have a nagging headache and stiff neck that just won't go away. This is a whiplash injury and common in minor car accidents. Local chiropractors understand this type of injury and offer non-invasive treatments to relieve your pain. Here is why you're having pain now and what a chiropractor can do to relieve you of it.

Delayed Pain from a Neck Injury

A whiplash injury occurs when your head is forced back suddenly, then forward. Tiny tears occur in the muscles in your upper neck causing swelling in that area. The inflammation is your body's attempt to prevent further tissue damage in your neck.

As the swelling goes down, you begin to feel the pain of the torn muscles. Headaches, neck pain, and stiffness are the typical symptoms once the inflammation in your neck subsides.

Treatment for a Whiplash Injury

The chiropractor uses various techniques to relax tension in your neck so your muscles can heal naturally. These treatments increase circulation in your neck and get rid of scar tissue created by the torn muscle fibers. There are several approaches the chiropractor can take and treatment may consist of a number of these.

Active Release Technique

In this treatment, the chiropractor feels your neck for the tense muscles and massages them in the direction of their natural movement. This slowly stretches those muscles out, relieving pain and stiffness. The doctor also feels for scar tissue and applies pressure during the massage to break this up and increase circulation in the muscle.

Myofascial Release Technique

Muscles that are severely tense contract and form a knot that can be felt under the skin. You may have muscle spasms in that area of your neck. The chiropractor identifies these areas and applies steady pressure on the muscle knot with their knuckles or a special tool. This causes the muscles to relax and the spasms to go away.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

This treatment uses a series of electrodes placed on the skin over tense muscles. A small electrical charge is pulsed into the area. This causes the muscles to relax and spasms to go away. Your chiropractor may treat you with a TENS unit before doing other massage techniques. There are also home units available that your doctor may show you how to use. These can give you some pain relief while the muscles in your neck heal.

For chiropractic care, contact an office such as Commonwealth Chiropractic.