Why People Don’t Heal From Whiplash and How They Can

It’s common that after a whiplash injury, a patient may feel fairly OK (aside from sore) initially but then notice significant symptoms begin to appear several weeks afterward. Roughly around the 4-6 week mark, they’ll begin experiencing stiffness which can turn into a sensation of crushing pressure and pain. Our patients will often describe this as an area of their body feeling like it’s in a ‘vice grip.’ They’ll get an Xray or MRI or Ultrasound and be told “there’s nothing wrong with you” or “you’re just going to have to live with it” or “it’s all in your head.” It’s common for these patients to find some temporary relief with massage or chiropractic care but to notice that their symptoms just keep coming back over and over. What a frustrating situation! Luckily, there’s another way to approach this and to explain what’s actually going on… 

Looking at the body through the lens of the fascial system (aka connective tissue system), these symptoms make so much more sense! The connective tissue gets overstretched during a whiplash injury (this is the structure that absorbs the impact). It takes around 6 weeks for connective tissue to heal, and as this healing process occurs, this tissue tightens down (a lot) and this is why symptoms don’t quite fully appear until later for these patients. Over time, this system can tighten down more and more, creating crushing pressure (estimated to have compression forces up to 2,000 lbs per square inch!) This tight fascia does not show up on any traditional imaging, only its effects (think discs in your spine or other joints getting compressed or structures pulled out of alignment due to this torque or compression). It’s only when we focus our treatment on this incredibly important fascial system that symptoms truly begin to change and resolve (our specialty!). 

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Does this sound like you or a loved one? Please feel free to reach out as we have great success with giving our patients relief from stubborn, chronic whiplash symptoms. In fact, these are some of our favorite types of symptoms to treat!

Call our clinic at: 262.264.8701