Whiplash, an acute injury of the cervical spine (neck), is most commonly associated with car crashes. However, you can experience this injury in a variety of other ways as well, from riding a roller coaster to playing sports. In some cases, patients may develop a similar condition from a pinched nerve or degenerative condition in the spine.
Historically, patients have had to endure this troublesome injury, aided only by pain medication and physical therapy, until the damaged areas healed. Many patients never achieve total relief, and live with chronic pain.
But today, laser therapy provides a safe and effective alternative that gets rid of the pain and accelerates the healing process.
What Is Whiplash?
You can think of whiplash as being similar to a sprain or strain in the neck.
When forceful pressure hits the body unexpectedly, the bones of the neck hyperextend, and for a brief second, the cervical spine deforms. The pressure stops as quickly as it started, returning the neck to its normal position. As a result, ligaments may be damaged and the spinal discs between the neck vertebrae can become herniated or dislocated.
Patients may not experience any pain initially, and thus believe they did not sustain any injuries. Symptoms often develop later, including severe headaches and pain in the back, shoulders or neck. You may also get a tingling feeling in the extremities.
How Does Laser Therapy Work for Treating Whiplash?
This treatment modality uses a low level of infrared and red spectrum laser light, infused directly into the body at the site of your injury. The light stimulates various aspects of the body’s natural healing and repair functions. In addition, it activates the body’s ability to address pain and inflammation.
Administering this treatment requires the physician to have extensive training and knowledge to select the correct wavelengths to address every layer of injury or damage.
Laser treatments work immediately to reduce inflammation and pain. In the intermediate term, laser light therapy activates processes at the cellular and tissue levels to create healing from the inside out.
How Effective Is Laser Therapy for Whiplash?
The research clearly demonstrates the efficacy of laser therapy for treating whiplash.
This includes clinically and statistically significant improvements in neck and back pain and neck and back disability. The benefits of laser therapy for neck pain are both intermediate and long-term. This treatment also reduces the length of time necessary for rehabilitation from whiplash injuries.
As a non-invasive treatment, laser light therapy is highly effective for helping whiplash patients avoid the risks of pain medication. Treatments are not only painless, but many patients report a pleasant, warm feeling while undergoing laser light therapy.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Muir to discuss your whiplash injury and to see if you would benefit from laser therapy. Dr. Muir performs the treatments in our Draper, Utah, office.
Utah Laser Therapy provides laser infrared therapy for a variety of conditions, including TMJ, bursitis and fibromyalgia. Contact us today to learn more about how laser therapy can help your whiplash injuries and pain.