Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash

redondo beach chiropractor whiplashIf you’re unlucky enough to have been rear-ended in your lifetime then you could be very familiar with whiplash. Some people have even suffered whiplash due to a jostling ride on a rollercoaster.

So, we’ve all heard of whiplash and know that generally it’s caused by some brute force striking a person from behind, but what exactly is happening in your neck that’s causing you so much pain and what exactly is to be done about it?

What Happens When You Get Whiplash?

During an incident that causes whiplash, the cervical spine is thrust from its healthy C-shape curve into a destructive S-shape position. This means that the lower part of your neck moves backward while the upper portion is thrust forward. The force drives the lower part of the cervical spine to move far beyond its normal position thus traumatizing the surrounding muscles and ligaments. The same goes for the upper part of the spine. 

Additional Injuries Related to Whiplash

:Unfortunately, the scope of the damage does not end with whiplash. Often times, as a result of developing whiplash, there are conditions that stem from it such as

  • Joint dysfunction: long-term issues may arise in the affected joints causing them to lose their normal durability
  • Herniated disc: whiplash may cause tears in the vertebral discs leading to their inner core to protrude into the spinal column
  • Headaches: often associated with whiplash is the onset of headaches
  • Chronic neck pain: neck pain will frequently linger following a traumatic neck injury such as whiplash
  • Cognitive dysfunction and dizziness: it is possible to suffer severe enough whiplash injuries to effect a patient’s brain function and cause problems with concentrating or severe dizziness
  • TMJ: something that is often overlooked in whiplash cases is the development of TMJ, or temporomandlbular joint injury, characterized by pain or clicking in the joint that connects the jaw to the skull just below the ear

Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash

Once you’ve been diagnosed with whiplash there are a couple of different treatments to consider. After the initial onset of pain, before you are able to see your physician, apply ice to the affected area. This will help to reduce swelling. If you have medicine on hand, pain killers are acceptable—anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen are highly suggested.

If you’ve seen your general practitioner or paid a visit to the hospital they will more than likely suggest seeking treatment for your neck pain from a chiropractor. The main treatment for whiplash is spinal adjustment. Remember the S-shape your neck was forced into? Well it needs to be put back into its natural C-shape! Your chiropractor will also incorporate gentle stretching of the muscles in the neck possibly couple that with trigger point therapy to stimulate the muscles.

Ways to Prevent Whiplash

If you want to avoid whiplash all together, there are ways to guard yourself in case an accident occurs. While these tips won’t prevent whiplash, you’ll have a better chance of a quicker recovery and a less intense injury if you work on a few key areas:

  • Add neck strengthening exercises suggested by your chiropractor into your normal routine.
  • Regularly stretch your neck throughout the day.
  • Adjust the seat and headrest in your vehicle: keep incline at less than a 20 degree angle toward the incline; set the headrest so that the top of it aligns to the top of your head; adjust the headrest to sit at about 2 inches from the back of your head.

Living in Redondo Beach and are suffering from whiplash? Seek chiropractic treatment for your whiplash at Catalina Medical Center today.

Chiropractic Care and Aging

chiropractic care and agingThe feeling has become all too familiar. The tightness in your back, the difficulty you have reaching your feet to put on your socks. As we age, common place activities begin to challenge us in ways they hadn’t before.

While you may have thought this was simply a part of life and something you’d need to live with, it most definitely is not the case. Regularly seeing a chiropractor can help with several problems related to aging. Here’s how chiropractic treatment can help you with common conditions that happen as we age. 

Arthritis

Those who suffer from arthritic pain often tend to lower their activity levels as a result. But, keeping up with regular activity and seeing a chiropractor for arthritis are ways to help you manage your disease.

The first course of action is a standard chiropractic adjustment. Placing undo stress on joints due to being slightly off center can aggravate symptoms of arthritis. Having your chiropractor readjust your alignment will help make sure you’re evenly placing pressure on all joints in the body.

Sciatica

If you have pain radiating in your lower back or gluteus area that feels like it’s radiating into your legs, you very likely could be suffering from sciatica. Sciatica is characterized by a pinched sciatic nerve and is prevalent in older individuals due to decreased core strength and spinal compression. This condition can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort if it goes untreated.

Chiropractors can help with sciatica through adjustments, physical therapy, massage or medication, amongh other things. The main focus of treatment is on increasing mobility and strengthening the muscles around the spine.

Balance

As we age, balance often suffers. Poor eyesight, inner ear issues, coordination and reflexes can easily cause people to topple over and fall. Chiropractic treatment can help you with your balance, by increasing flexibility and also aid in helping some of the common issues that are related. 

Recovery from Falls

Taking a spill here and there is bound to happen because as we age, balance issues develop. Coming back from them, however, can be quite difficult if not under the care of a medical professional.

Physical therapy after an injury is standard practice and can be attended to by your chiropractor. Through gradual strength building and increasing your flexibility, your chiropractor can have you back in fighting shape in no time.

Keep in mind that the best way to avoid injury is to take preventative precautions such as visiting a chiropractor to help with one of the core issues that leads to spills: your balance.  Maintaining proper alignment, staying centered with good posture, keeping up your core strength and increasing your flexibility enables you to react more effectively to unintended quick movements or trips.

Knee Pain

As our joints age with us, the cartilage cushioning them begins to wear thin. One of the primary causes of knee pain in older patients is osteoarthritis which can be quite debilitating if left untreated. Chiropractors can help with this chronic knee pain by performing alignments on the knee, ensuring the bones are meeting at the proper place in the joint.

If you’ve found yourself getting up in the morning feeling more stiff than ever before or are experiencing pain while participating in everyday activities, make an appointment with your chiropractor. If you’re in the Redondo Beach area, Catalina Medical is ready to take your appointments and start you on the path to better health.

Can’t Move Your Neck? Chiropractic Treatment for Twisted Neck

redondo beach chiropractor for twisted neckWaking up unable to lift your head off the pillow is excruciating. Stiffness seems to not cover the extent of how frozen your neck truly feels. In most cases of torticollis, or wry neck, neck mobility is severely impacted, preventing you from moving from side to side or tilting your head in any direction.

Needless to say, not being able to turn your head without hinging at the waist is problematic.

What is Torticollis or Wry Neck?

Torticollis is characterized by the locking up of the small joints located in the back of the neck. Once those joints become jammed, the muscles surrounding those joints follow suit and tighten around the problematic area. It’s a little counterproductive, but your body sees the joint issue as something it needs to protect which activates those muscles to safeguard them by tightening around the vertebrae. And voila, your neck is officially frozen.

What Causes Torticollis?

The majority of the time, symptoms first present upon waking and that’s no coincidence. Several of the causes of torticollis have to do with things happening while you sleep:

  • Improper sleeping posture 
  • Overlooked injury
  • Sleeping in irregular temperatures (going from warm to cold too quickly can cause muscles to tense up and spasm)
  • Text neck 
  • Uncommon activities (lifting heavy objects, trying a new gym routine, keeping your neck static looking in one direction for too long)

Chiropractic Treatment for Torticollis

While the condition only lasts up to about 7 days if left untreated, a week is an awfully long time to go without the full use of your neck. Preventing the neck pain in the first place is, of course, ideal. But, if you’re already suffering from wry neck, there are a few things you can do before heading to get a professional opinion:

If your condition is severe enough that you’re unable to go to work, you’ve got radiating pain into your shoulders or you just need to be back at it sooner rather than later, visiting a chiropractor can take your down time from a week to about 2-3 days.

Your chiropractor will be able to help you by prescribing a physical therapy program which should help get you back to normal. They may also suggest medications such as muscle relaxants or pain medications to help ease neck pain while also treating you in their office. If you’re around the Redondo Beach area, make an appointment with Catalina Medical Center to relieve your neck pain.

Chiropractic Treatment For Better Balance

redondo beach chiropractor for balanceGood balance seems to be reserved for young children and Olympic gymnasts. The rest of the population, not so much. Having good balance is a tricky thing and only gets worse as we age. Before you know it you’re getting thrown off kilter simply by turning to look over your shoulder.

What Causes Balance Issues?

While there are a great many things that can cause issues with balance like physical trauma, advanced stages of pregnancy or illness, more common catalysts for poor balance come with advanced aging. Other common causes of balance issues are:

  • Vestibular system failure: This is a fancy way of saying that our inner ear is losing its ability to determine the position our bodies relative to our surroundings
  • Eyesight decline: As we age, our ability to focus begins to wain which effects our depth perception and, ergo, our balance
  • Blood pressure issues: Uneven blood pressure contributes to the feeling of dizziness which can make it difficult to standup without feeling uneasy about your footing
  • Reflexes/coordination decline: Losing your coordination may cause more frequent stumbles and with slower reflexes you’re probably not able to catch yourself in time

So what do you do when you lose your balance? How do you avoid what seems to be inevitable?

How to Prevent Poor Balance

Exercise

The leading remedy for poor balance is exercise. Strengthening core muscles  is an excellent way to ensure that the next time you’re feeling a bit wobbly you can count on a stronger core to whip you back up onto your feet.

Chiropractic Care

Visiting a professional chiropractor can help you in your quest for better balance. Chiropractors are actually able to help with inner ear problems such as free-floating calcium deposits in the inner ear causing vertigo which no doubt could be adding to your balance issues.

Also, if you’re suffering from a chronic musculoskeletal issue, your balance is likely being affected. Chiropractors are able to help you restore regular movement and flexibility with physical therapy. Allowing your body to move properly and react with greater ease to sudden special adjustments greatly improves your balance.

Holistic Treatment

Another method for treating chronic balance issues is with acupuncture. While there are studies that prove acupuncture benefits patients with balance issues due to trauma, others are still convinced that this eastern medicine has helped them with a variety of issues.  Anecdotal evidence abounds from patients crediting acupuncture with having helped with various problems such as chronic pain.

Living with poor balance may be something that naturally happens as we age, but taking preventative measures like scheduling a chiropractic appointment before the problem gets too bad should be on your radar, especially if you’re already exhibiting signs of poor balance.