Whiplash Specialist

Brave Roots Chiropractic

Steve Cook, DC

Chiropractor & Animal Chiropractor located in Fort Collins, CO

Whiplash is the most common type of injury after a car accident, though it can also occur after a fall, sporting injury, or other trauma. For neck pain, stiffness, and discomfort caused by whiplash, see chiropractor Steve Cook, DC, at Brave Roots Chiropractic in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dr. Cook offers personalized treatments to help you recover after a whiplash injury. Schedule your visit today by calling the office or using the online booking tool.

Whiplash Q & A

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is a type of ligament sprain and muscle strain that occurs most often in car accidents. Whiplash happens when your head is suddenly thrown backward and forward forcefully, overstretching the muscles and ligaments in your neck.

Whiplash injuries most commonly affect the neck, though they can injure any area of the spine and may be accompanied by other symptoms besides neck discomfort. If left untreated, whiplash injuries may cause chronic pain, stiffness, or spinal instability, depending on the type of injury you sustained.

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

In addition to neck pain and discomfort, other symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Decreased range of motion and stiffness
  • Popping, cracking, and clicking in the neck
  • Pain in the shoulders and arms
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms and hands
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Hip and knee pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Headaches

If your accident is severe enough, you may also experience symptoms of a concussion. Some of these symptoms may overlap with whiplash symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, and trouble remembering the accident.

How is whiplash diagnosed?

In order to diagnose whiplash, Dr. Cook begins with a consultation and exam to determine the extent of your injuries. He asks about your accident, the angle of impact, and how fast you and the other driver were traveling when the impact occurred.

Dr. Cook then measures your range of motion and pressures on your neck, shoulders, and back to assess for tenderness, swelling, and discomfort. Additional orthopedic tests are performed to assess the stability of your spine and look for potential ligament and muscle damage.

If appropriate, Dr. Cook takes X-rays of your neck in the office. These X-rays can show telltale signs of spinal instability that signify ligament damage. Based on his findings, Dr. Cook explains your diagnosis and outlines a treatment plan to help you.

How is whiplash treated?

Whiplash treatment can be a long process, depending on the severity of your injuries. Dr. Cook focuses on improving your range of motion and flexibility while also supporting your muscles and ligaments to heal properly for normal spinal stability.

Treatment options for whiplash include:

  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Soft tissue therapy, including massage therapy
  • Postural exercises
  • Therapeutic exercise and rehab
  • Lifestyle modifications
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Acupuncture

These therapies can also help relieve your pain to make your treatment more comfortable and help you recover as quickly as possible.

To set up a visit at Brave Roots Chiropractic, call the office or schedule a consultation online now.