How Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy Helps Treat Whiplash

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young woman sitting in car holding her neck

Even with the high price of gas, summer road trips with your friends and family are likely high on your to-do list. After all, who doesn’t love to roll the windows down, crank up the music and enjoy the inviting summer breezes after a long winter spent indoors?

Unfortunately, more cars on the road mean more fender-benders and serious car accidents. For our chiropractic and massage therapy team, it means an influx of patients seeking care at our clinic for accident-related injuries.

Our Pickering chiropractic and massage therapy team has decades of experience helping patients move on from their injuries.

People injured in a motor vehicle accident sometimes experience a strain of their neck muscles and the surrounding soft tissue, commonly referred to as whiplash. Anyone who has had such an injury knows neck muscles can be very tender, and neck movement can be quite limited.

Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Although whiplash most often occurs during a rear-end auto accident, the injury can also result from a sports accident, physical abuse or other trauma. Research shows that successful whiplash treatment requires patient cooperation and active efforts to resume daily activity.

Common signs and symptoms of whiplash usually — but not always — develop within 24 hours of the injury and may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Most people with whiplash get better within a few weeks by following a treatment plan that includes pain medication and exercise. However, some experience chronic neck pain and other long-lasting complications.

Whiplash may be called a neck sprain or strain, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries.

Some people also suffer from:

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Depression

Get help for your whiplash injury

Do not ignore whiplash-type injuries. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, seek a medical examination. Health care professionals are alert for the signs of more serious neck trauma.

Good news

The good news is that most whiplash injuries are not serious and will heal fully. Many people experience little disruption in their activities and are able to get on with their daily lives.

Did you know?

Whiplash can occur from many causes, not just car accidents. For example, it can happen from falling downstairs or having something fall on your head. It can also happen when tackled or bodychecked while taking part in contact sports.

Whiplash can also occur at a relatively low impact. For example, a hit in a car accident at less than 10km/hour can cause whiplash. Pain, stiffness and other symptoms of Grade 1 (tender muscles) or Grade 2 (limited neck movement) whiplash typically start within the first two days after an accident.

Avoid whiplash in the future: Adjust your car’s headrest

Properly adjusting the height of your car headrest will help prevent whiplash injury in an accident. In an ideal adjustment, the top of your head should be in line with the top of the headrest and there should be no more than 2 to 5 cm between the back of your head and the headrest.

How chiropractic care and massage therapy helps treat whiplash

Even if you seek chiropractic care complaining of neck pain following a trauma, your chiropractor will evaluate your entire spine because other regions of the spine may be affected (not just your neck). Your chiropractor will identify any areas of restricted joint motion, intervertebral disc injury, muscle spasm, and ligament injury and will also feel for tenderness, tightness, and how well your spinal joints move. In addition to performing a series of spinal adjustments to correct vertebral subluxations, your chiropractor may also prescribe therapeutic exercises to help restore normal motion in your spine and reduce whiplash symptoms.

Massage therapy helps rid the pain caused by whiplash and increases the amount of oxygen the body gives to the tissues, thus speeding up the recovery process. And by stimulating circulation and increasing the flow of oxygen, massage therapy may rid you of the headaches associated with whiplash.

Need help recovering from a whiplash injury? At Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage, chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera can evaluate and treat your injuries, and registered massage therapists Jessica Raedisch or Rolf Castanheiro will employ a variety of hands-on techniques to assess and treat the soft tissues and joints of the body. If you’re looking for chiropractic care and massage therapy in Ajax or Pickering, call our clinic at 905-427-3202 to make an appointment.

Why You Should Walk Like a Penguin in Icy Conditions

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group of penguins walking across snow and ice

After a few days of reprieve from ice and snow, winter weather is back in the forecast for Southern Ontario. The upcoming rain-snow mix is likely to cause havoc because once the temperature drops, what starts off as a wet sidewalk or driveway can quickly turn into a sheet of ice.

Whether you’re going outside for some exercise, running an errand, or simply getting to and from your car, winter walking can be hazardous.

“Each year around this time, we start seeing an increasing number of patients who have suffered a fall on the ice,” says Durham Region chiropractor Dr. John Noble. “Our chiropractic and massage therapy team are able to offer guidance and provide care, but ideally it would be best if the fall could be avoided!”

There are some precautions you can take to make sure you get to your destination safely. Here are eight ways to avoid a slip and fall on snow or ice:

1. Choose the right footwear

There are some great options for winter boots that provide slip resistance.

Look for these features: rubber soles with a non-slip tread.

2. Plan ahead

Give yourself extra travel time so you can walk without being rushed.

3. Don’t be distracted

Avoid walking and using your phone at the same time.

4. Be on the lookout for ice

Avoid icy patches when possible. When in doubt, assume that all dark and wet pavement surfaces are slippery.

5. Be prepared

If you don’t have salt for your stairs, driveway, or walkway, use sand or non-clumping cat litter to sprinkle on icy surfaces outdoors. If possible, only walk on paths that receive maintenance. Don’t take shortcuts where snow isn’t regularly removed

6. Use support

Use handrails when available and steady yourself on the door frame of your car when getting in and out of a vehicle.

7. Don’t compromise your balance

Avoid carrying items in your arms as that may cause you to be unbalanced. Walking with your arms swinging at your sides is the best way to maintain balance. Make sure to keep your hands out of your pockets to help with balance and walking posture (don’t forget your gloves).

8. Walk like a penguin

When the terrain is super slippery, try practising these “penguin-like” techniques for stability:

  • Keep your feet “flat-footed” (place your whole foot down at once—this also slows your walking speed)
  • Take short strides or shuffle your feet forward
  • Keep your knees slightly bent and feet pointed out. Lean forward slightly

Make sure to check for weather updates before you head out! If you have experienced a slip or fall, our Pickering massage therapy and chiropractic team can help.

Call the Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage Clinic for an assessment with Ajax chiropractors Dr. John Noble or Dr. Mark Fera, or to book a therapeutic massage with registered massage therapists Jessica Raedisch or Rolf Castanheiro.



With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association

7 Reasons to Incorporate Walking Into Your Daily Routine

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At Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage, we understand the importance of keeping your body moving!

Chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera are spine, muscle, and nervous system experts and encourage you to incorporate walking as part of your daily routine.

Here’s why:

1. Walking is good for your brain.

Walking boosts blood flow to your brain, decreasing your stress hormones and releasing endorphins. This helps improve your mood, lower your chance of depression and reduce your risk of cognitive decline.

  • Two hours of walking a week can reduce your risk of stroke by 30%.
  • A 40-minute walk three times a week protects the brain region associated with planning and memory.
  • A 30-minute walk a day can reduce symptoms of depression by 36%.

2. Walking is good for your bones, muscles and joints.

Like other weight-bearing activities, walking helps maintain bone health. Four hours of walking per week can reduce the risk of hip fractures by up to 43%.

Walking up and down hills increases the activation of the hip, knee and ankle muscles. The steeper the grade, the bigger the benefit.

Walking increases the circulation of synovial fluid around your joints, providing essential lubrication and nutrients to cartilage, the tissues that act as a cushion between your bones.

3. Walking can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Walking at least 30 minutes per day is linked to lower body weight, body fat and waist circumference. A daily one-hour walk can cut your risk of obesity in half.

4. Walking is good for your digestive tract.

By taking a walk after a meal, you help your food move your digestive system, reducing the incidence of bloating and digestive problems.

5. Walking can help manage diabetes.

Diabetes affects approximately 2.5 million Canadians, with over 200,000 cases being diagnosed every year. Researchers around the globe have all found that regular exercise, along with dietary changes, can help manage diabetes. Walking can help reduce insulin resistance, keeping blood sugar levels balanced and energy levels even.

6. Walking is good for your heart.

Studies have shown that exercise lessens your risk of developing heart disease because it helps reduce the amount of fats and cholesterol in the body (both play a role in damaging your arteries). A daily 30 to 60-minute walk increases your heart rate, improves blood flow and helps your heart pump more efficiently, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

7. Walking can help you live longer.

With all these health benefits, it only makes sense that walking increases longevity. A mere 75 minutes a week of brisk walking can add almost two years to your life!

Enjoy the warmer weather and improve your overall health by making walking a part of your daily routine.


At Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage, we provide our patients with more than just chiropractic and massage therapy services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so you can be at your best for work or play, every day.

To book an appointment or learn more about the chiropractic and therapeutic massage therapy services available at our clinic, call 905-427-3202.


Image courtesy of Canada Walks. Inspired by content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association, MyFitnessPal and Canada Walks.