The Deceiving Nature of Whiplash

Contrary to popular belief, you can sustain a whiplash injury from more than just being rear ended!  Whiplash is an acceleration/deceleration injury…meaning, it’s a rapid forward and backward (or side to side) movement of the head and neck.  Although most common to occur during a car accident, whiplash is known to occur in other situations, especially sports such as football, gymnastics and boxing.

Whiplash is deceiving because after your vehicle is rear ended, you may feel pain quickly or you may not develop symptoms for several hours, weeks or even MONTHS!  This type of injury can occur at speeds as low as 5mph!  Whiplash is so dangerous because it can affect not only muscles, but ligaments, tendons, discs, joints, nerves AND your brain.

After an accident most people opt to visit their primary care or the ER.  It is important to note that the ER and primary docs are looking for fractures after a car accident.  Your chiropractor will take a series of x-rays including flexion and extension films to analyze soft tissue range of motion.  Once fractures have been ruled out, a trip to your chiropractor should be step two, even if symptoms are minimal!

Making a trip to your chiropractor post accident could save you weeks, months and even years of future symptoms.  We will help restore proper function and mobility to the joints, and utilize other techniques to improve healing of the soft tissues and decrease pain.  Your chiropractor may utilize exercises to improve coordination and prevent improper movement.

There are many items that can affect whiplash recovery such as age and sex.  As we age we lose strength in our necks.  Women suffer whiplash more often than men.  Experts believe this is due to men having stronger neck muscles.  Prior conditions such as arthritis or smoking can increase the severity of whiplash and increase healing time.

If you or someone you know has been in a car accident, they should be evaluated by a chiropractor sooner rather than later to prevent future problems.  Visit our website for more information on whiplash and chiropractic.

*please note that whiplash can occur in the mid-back and low back, but is most common in the neck.


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