The Best Treatment Options for Managing Whiplash Symptoms

Whiplash: it comes on in an instant, but can stay with you for quite some time. Between neck pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion in the neck, headaches, and dizziness, the laundry list of unpleasant symptoms is enough to keep anyone from enjoying day-to-day life.

The good news is that there are some great options to manage and improve your whiplash condition at home. Below we’ll walk you through some of the best ways to treat whiplash with conservative care, how to manage the pain, and mitigating side-effect discomforts so that you can live your best life. 

What You Can Do For Whiplash At Home

Let’s start with what you don’t want to do for whiplash. Along with the discomfort that accompanies whiplash, it’s easy to want to immobilize or rest the neck. Resist this urge! Though some extra rest within the first 24-48 hours of the incident can be helpful, ultimately you want to encourage some gentle range of motion. Complete rest can get in the way of that and actually do more harm than good. 

As far as managing whiplash at home, you’ll want to focus on a couple of key components: pain management and range of motion. 

Pain Management For Whiplash

Pain management for each case of whiplash can vary significantly person-to-person, and of course, depends on the severity of the original accident. Some of the more serious cases do require prescription pain medication, muscle relaxants, or injections, but these routes shouldn’t be jumped to automatically. As always, consult with your doctor first, but there are other gentle modalities that help provide many whiplash victims with some serious relief. 

As far as conservative at-home care options go, a great route to explore initially is alternating the application of both heat and cold to the affected area. A hot or cold pack can be applied to the neck (make sure to keep a towel in between to protect your skin!) in 15-minute increments up to six times per day. Make a mental note of which temperature provides you more relief. Some also find that alternating the temperatures to be very beneficial. 

Gentle massage to the neck and shoulder area can also provide pain relief. The key here is not to get too aggressive with this kind of massage. Try asking a family member or spouse to gently massage the area in small circles, to your tolerance. Of course, use pain and discomfort as your guiding indicator. If the massage is making your pain worse, stop it immediately. You should also pay attention to how your pain changes in the hours and days following the massage. Again, if you’re noticing a significant increase in pain, this signals that your neck may not be ready for massage quite yet.

Exercises For Whiplash

Being able to help yourself at home can be hugely empowering during an injury. When you’re recovering from whiplash, it’s easy to get overzealous and want to do too much, too soon. Keep in mind that these exercises are best done in moderation, and with the prescribed help from a medical professional. Use pain as a guide; if you feel any increase in pain, stop the exercise immediately.

Neck Rotations

These are about as simple as they sound! Sit upright in a chair with a neutral posture and rotate your neck to look over your shoulder in one direction slowly, until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds before gently bringing your head back to the center. Repeat on each side 5-10 times, or as tolerated.

Head Tilts

Again, begin this exercise by sitting in a neutral, relaxed position. Keep your gaze forward while slowly tilting your head down toward your shoulder, using that gentle stretching sensation as your stopping point. Hold this end range position for 1-2 seconds before slowly returning your head back to the center. Repeat on each side 5-10 times, or as tolerated.

Neck Bends

Stay in your seated position for this exercise. Slowly lower your head toward your chest, tucking your chin as you go. Gently lift back up and return your head to neutral. Repeat 5 times. 

How Can Chiropractic Help Treat Whiplash?

Incorporating consistent chiropractic into your routine is a great way to stay on top of overall health and particularly neck and back pain. The gentle adjustments of the spine and extremities that your chiropractor may perform can help to alleviate pressure in your joints, decrease inflammation, and allow your entire body to function optimally. That’s a huge win in your journey back to full health.

On top of this, your practitioner may also recommend appropriate at-home exercises specific to your injury history to perform outside of the office. These simple exercises can go a long way in making noticeable gains toward recovery.

Don’t delay your health any longer; schedule your chiropractic appointment online or call (626) 469-7478.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.


Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

From physical jobs to everyday functions, your shoulders can actually take quite a beating. However, we usually don’t notice all of the work that we put them through until something isn’t quite right. Sometimes it’s hard to notice a good thing until it’s gone: your shoulder health. 

With shoulder injuries come stiffness, soreness, and oftentimes a loss of range of motion. Not ideal. From heavy construction work to cooking dinner to reaching onto that top shelf in your closet, our shoulders really play a large role in many everyday activities. When our shoulder health is compromised, it’s easy to feel in many different ways throughout a normal day. 

If you’re one of many suffering from shoulder pain, in this article we address some of the basics to help you understand your condition and jumpstart your healing process.

Overuse-Related Shoulder Injuries 

This one tells it like it is: some shoulder injuries come from plain overuse. Maybe you have a physical job that requires frequent heavy lifting or you started an intense workout routine; whatever it is, if you’re overusing the joint, eventually you’ll find your breaking point. Below are two of the most common overuse shoulder injuries. 

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

Your rotator cuffs within each shoulder carry a heavy brunt of the shoulder work that we put these joints through. Essentially, your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that acts as stabilizers within your shoulder. Sound important? They are! 

These cuffs can become strained fairly easily with overuse. For some, it’s a job that requires a good amount of heavy lifting or pounding. For others, the culprits are the sports that require throwing and blocking. 

Regardless of how you injured your shoulder, you may be experiencing rotator cuff tendonitis if you begin to feel pain with overhead motion or a loss of strength or motion within your arm. The good news is if you catch this tendonitis early, it’s generally pretty easily treated with some simple rest, ice, and prescribed at-home exercises.

Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator cuff tears can come from either overuse OR a more traumatic, sudden accident. It’s important to treat rotator cuff tendonitis early— if you forego treatment and choose to work or play through the pain, you could be putting yourself at risk to actually tear a ligament. It should go without saying that a torn ligament is much worse than tendonitis. Of course, you can also get a rotator cuff tear from a sudden accident.

Signature symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include shooting pain down the side of your arm from your shoulder as well as pain and weakness within your shoulder, especially with overhead activities. 

Though many rotator cuff tears are treatable with ice, rest, and a regimented rehab exercise routine, it’s important to seek medical help for an accurate diagnosis as early treatment is key. A delayed approach to rehab may put your tendon’s ability to heal at risk; the longer the rotator cuff goes without treatment with a tear, the more it begins to retract, decreasing your chances of a full recovery. In short: stay on top of this injury! Medium tears tend to respond well to appropriate conservative rehab; seek out a prescribed plan from a professional as soon as you suspect this injury. 

Severity Of Shoulder Injuries

Though the injury to the rotator cuff is a common issue, the shoulder is so complex that the severity of these injuries can vastly vary. A “strain” of the muscles or tendons within the shoulder is generally seen as a mild injury, while a tear can be moderate to severe, depending on how much tissue has actually torn. Dislocation of the shoulder, fractures, joint instability, and pinched nerves within the shoulder can also be culprits of pain. 

As we mentioned previously, those who have jobs that require heavy lifting and use, and those who play impact sports are common victims of shoulder pain and injury. However, it’s worth noting that our shoulders and joints also become more susceptible to injury as we age. 

Preventative Care For Your Shoulders

To take better care of your shoulders, keep these two maxims in mind: a range of motion and strength. At-home exercises for shoulder health aren’t necessarily focusing on building muscle, but rather promoting a good, pain-free range of motion and adequate strength to perform day-to-day activities, pain-free. 

Bear in mind: these exercises are for preventative care only! If you’re already experiencing shoulder pain or discomfort, it’s important to seek care immediately to properly diagnose what’s really going on. From there, a medical professional can point you in the right direction of what exercises may be beneficial to your specific injury. 

Pendulum Movement

Bend gently at the waist while engaging your core and keeping your back flat. Let one arm hang down, and gently swing it forward and back 2-3 times. Pause, and repeat the exercises with the same arm side-to-side. Repeat these swings on the other arm. 

Wall Stretches

Facing a wall, stand close enough to touch it easily. Reach one arm out to your side and lean into the wall as your mobility and comfort allow. You should feel a gentle stretch in your shoulder as you lean further in. Hold for several seconds, release and repeat on both sides as needed. 

Other small (yet significant) things that you can do at home to help with good overall shoulder health include: maintaining good posture, avoiding overhead movements for rest, and avoiding carrying heavy bags on one shoulder. 

How Chiropractic Can Help With Shoulder Injuries

Another great way to stay on top of your shoulder health is by receiving consistent chiropractic treatment. Not to mention, your chiropractor can also help to properly diagnose your shoulder injury, which is a huge part of receiving the correct care.

Through the use of adjustments of the spine, neck, and extremities, chiropractic can help to realign the body and provide real relief. Believe it or not, these gentle adjustments help to decrease inflammation, relieve pressure, reduce nerve irritability, and ultimately allow your entire body to relax and allow actual healing to take place. By working consistent chiropractic care into your rehabilitation routine, you could cut down on your healing time and increase your overall quality of life. That’s a huge win-win. Your practitioner can also help you work in appropriate at-home exercises to accelerate the healing process outside of office hours. 

Whether you’re working through a shoulder injury currently or looking to get help proactively, chiropractic care can help with overall shoulder health. Schedule your chiropractic appointment online or call (626) 469-7478.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.


Preparing Your Body For Childbirth

This one goes out to all of our pregnant ladies! If you’re expecting – congratulations! 

Preparing for a new addition to the family is such an exciting and busy time. However, in all of the planning and anticipation of the new arrival, it can be easy to neglect self-care. 

Self-care is incredibly important at all times, but especially during pregnancy. While you’re literally growing another human (take a moment and let the enormity of that sink in), your body is not only tapping into extra energy reserves but also going through hormonal and significant postural changes. It’s a lot to take in over the course of nine months! 

With the right self-care and planning, you can (and should!) help to actually prepare your body for childbirth. Many of the basics you can begin at home. 

How Does Your Body Change During Pregnancy?

Obviously, we’re all aware of the signature external giveaway of pregnancy: the baby bump. However, throughout the course of gestation, a woman’s body is host to many unseen changes as well. With the surge of different hormones at various times, and ultimately the structural changes that a growing fetus presents to the spine and hip regions, the body is absorbing a lot of change over those nine months. 

Relaxin is one hormone that comes into play in a big way during pregnancy. Just as the name suggests, it helps to relax and soften ligaments to make room for the cervix to widen during childbirth. However, it also opens your spine and pelvis to misalignment vulnerabilities, which could cause complications later. Because of all these physical changes, it’s important to stay on top of anything that doesn’t feel quite right during your pregnancy. 

Pregnancy Training: It’s A Real Thing!

Athletes prepare for big races or competitions by following a training plan to prepare their bodies for the physical rigors that will be asked of them. Pregnancy should be approached similarly. With all of the physical changes and the impending rigors of labor, a birthing training plan helps to prepare your body for the intensity of childbirth. Simple, at-home exercises can help get you started. 

Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is a simple yoga pose, often used as a resting pose. During pregnancy, this movement can help to lengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Keeping your pelvic floor in tip-top shape is super important when going into delivery, as a tight pelvic floor can actually slow down the birthing process. A strong and flexible pelvic floor, in turn, can lengthen to accommodate the birth better. This exercise can also ease all-too-common lower back pain and tightness. 

To perform the child’s pose, start on all fours with your back parallel to the ground. Simultaneously slide your hands forward, while you sit back on your heels if you are able. Don’t force the movement, however; when sitting back always use discomfort as an instant indicator to stop, or take the pose a bit more shallow. When you’ve found your comfortable child’s pose position, take five slow, deep belly breaths before coming back to all fours. Repeat as desired. 

Cat / Cow Flow

This pose is another gentle yoga pose that can work wonders for lower back pain. Many find that it’s a great exercise to perform both in the morning and in the evening to soothe the small aches and pains of daily life. 

To perform cat/cow flow, start on your hands and knees again. For the movement in this exercise, you’ll follow your breath along with body cues. As you exhale, round your back up as you tuck your head and chin downward. On your inhale, bring your back into an arc while lifting your head and chin to the sky. Follow your slow, deep breaths, and continue this exercise as desired.

Deep Squats

Hello, pelvic floor relaxation! This exercise can help these crucial child birthing muscles both relax and lengthen, making it a great addition to your pre-birthing routine. 

To perform a deep squat, start by standing a bit wider than hip-width apart. Slowly begin to squat as far as you can go down without discomfort. You can place your hands on the back of a chair to help guide and balance you or, if you’re comfortable with it, keep your hands pressed together in front of you. Hold this deep squat in your end position for 2-3 seconds before coming back up, slowly and controlled. Repeat up to 10 times within one session. 

How Can Chiropractic Help During Pregnancy And Childbirth?

It is incredibly common for women to experience lower back pain during pregnancy. Many women find chiropractic care provides soothing relief to the aches and discomforts of carrying a growing child. 

Prenatal chiropractic treatment most often involves addressing the muscles, joints, and nerves along your spine using chiropractic adjustments. These gentle adjustments can help to decrease inflammation, relieve pressure, reduce nerve irritability, and ultimately allow your entire body to relax and recover throughout your pregnancy. And, don’t worry – chiropractors who specialize in prenatal care are thoroughly trained in body positioning to keep your growing baby safe throughout treatment.

In addition to pain relief, prenatal chiropractic care can also help prepare your body for the extreme event of childbirth. With the structural changes that come along with a growing baby bump, it’s easy for your pelvis to be knocked slightly out of alignment, which can pose problems during delivery. Left untreated, it can both restrict the amount of space available to your baby during development, and also make it more difficult for your baby to rotate into the optimal birthing position. Chiropractic adjustments can help keep your pelvis in line and prepared for labor when the time comes.

Whether you’re experiencing back pain associated with your pregnancy, or simply looking for ways to prepare for childbirth, consistent chiropractic care could make a huge difference. Be proactive about your prenatal health; schedule your chiropractic appointment online or call (626) 469-7478.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.


Whiplash Facts More People Should Know

Whiplash: in one jarring instant, everything changes. Neck pain. Loss of range of motion in your neck. Pounding headaches. Fatigue. Dizziness. If you’ve experienced the intense, sudden injury of whiplash, we already know that this resonates with you deeply. It can feel as if normal life has been turned upside down in the blink of an eye. 

Because the effects of whiplash have such a profound effect on how you operate your day-to-day life, it’s easy to feel as if you’re all alone in your pain, or question if you’ll ever find complete relief.

Take heart; we have good news for all those suffering from whiplash. Conservative care options offer amazing (and lasting!) relief. Yes, you CAN get rid of your neck pain for good. 

Common Causes of Whiplash

Whiplash happens from a sudden, back-and-forth movement of the head that mimics the cracking of a whip. Thus, the name: whiplash. Far and away the most common cause of whiplash is from rear-end car accidents, but it can also occur in sports accidents or through other traumas. The unifying factor: a sudden onset. 

Whiplash is not one of those injuries that compound over time. Instead, it happens in a moment but instills lasting effects on its victims. What many people don’t realize is that whiplash can occur at low-speed collisions, as low as 5 MPH. Whiplash may not even involve vehicles–all it takes is a forceful impact to snap the neck and head forward and back, which occurs in contact sports such as football. 

This sudden injury to the neck is generally followed by symptoms of neck pain, stiffness, loss of range of motion, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and tenderness in the shoulders and upper back. Some more extreme cases also report blurred vision, ringing in the ears, memory issues, trouble sleeping, and trouble concentrating.  

Can I Treat Whiplash At Home?

First and foremost, if you’ve experienced whiplash, it’s best to seek a full medical evaluation immediately. Though many cases of whiplash are treatable at home, you’ll want to make sure that there isn’t a further injury to any bones or tissue damage in the area. Your doctor may order an X-ray, MRI or CT if they suspect more serious structural damage. These clinical images will help give them a full picture of what happened during the accident. 

Once you’ve ruled out more serious bone or tissue injury with your doctor, an at-home rehabilitation plan is advised. Within the first 24 hours following the injury, resting is very beneficial for both pain management and to kickstart the healing process. However, after this initial period, too much rest can actually delay your recovery back to full health. You may have seen those (fashionable!) foam neck braces to immobilize the neck, but that’s actually the last thing you want to treat whiplash.

After you’ve been cleared for gentle activity, begin incorporating a few basic exercises prescribed by your doctor. These will usually involve some side-to-side head movement, neck rotation in both directions, and rolling your shoulders forward and backward. If your symptoms persist, a longer-term rehab plan may be recommended. 

How Chiropractic Can Help Whiplash Symptoms?

Chiropractic is actually one of the most effective ways to treat whiplash symptoms. Regaining movement and motion in and around your neck area is incredibly important for your body to heal. Chiropractic care is beneficial from the onset of your symptoms and throughout your recovery.

How so? Gentle adjustments of the spine and extremities that your chiropractor may perform help to alleviate pressure in your joints, decrease inflammation, and allow your entire body to function optimally. They may also choose to add some manual soft-tissue work to help the muscles around your neck relax, again helping with mobility. Additionally, your practitioner may recommend appropriate at-home exercises specific to your injury history to perform outside of the office. At-home therapy can pay huge dividends toward your healing timeline and can be almost as valuable as the in-office treatment.

Don’t neglect your health any longer; schedule your chiropractic appointment online or call (626) 469-7478.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.