Whiplash is a common injury to come away with after a car accident, but many people don't know much about it other than its name. If you're worried that you have whiplash or you know someone who might, read this guide to find out what whiplash really is and how you can get it treated.

What Whiplash Is

Whiplash is simply a term for the type of trauma and damage that's done to the body during an accident like a sports injury or car accident. It refers to the back-and-forth whipping motion that the body sometimes goes through during a car accident, especially when you're struck from behind. The strike sends your body forward, where it likely rebounds either due to hitting something like the dashboard or from the seatbelt holding you in. The body then travels backward, striking the chair behind it, but there's usually still enough propulsion to go forward again at least once. This rapid back-and-forth motion is very bad for the spine and body.

Problems It Can Pose

People who go through whiplash often experience stiffness, pain, swelling, and a loss of full movement of the neck. Since the spine is also deeply connected to the nerves that run all through your body, it can also cause problems akin to pinched nerves, where you may feel tingling or numbness in your extremities.

Some people will recover from whiplash on their own, but others can end up being haunted by these symptoms for many years to come if they don't seek treatment. But what are you to do if you think you or a loved one has gone through whiplash?

What to Do

In this instance, it's best to visit a chiropractor. Chiropractors are trained medical professionals that have additional training in treating the neck, spine, and bones of the body.

Your chiropractor will examine the spine and neck to determine if there's evidence of whiplash. If there is, they can get to work right away. This is sometimes done with an activator tool that allows them to safely and effectively move the vertebrae back to where they belong in the spine. This can provide immediate relief from symptoms like pinched nerves, as it takes the strain off the nerves running through the spine and allows them to communicate normally again.

Correcting the alignment of the spine can also dramatically help with restoring normal function and range of motion, and it facilitates the start of the healing process.

To learn more, contact a facility that offers car accident chiropractic care.