Whiplash denotes injuries resulting from a sudden and forceful back-and-forth motion of the neck, often occurring in situations such as sports, slip and falls, or auto accidents. While many used to consider whiplash pain a minor issue, medical understanding has progressed, recognizing that these injuries can lead to long-term pain and disability without proper treatment. Recent research indicates that individuals who sustain neck injuries in motor vehicle accidents are highly likely to experience both whiplash pain and future neck pain. Fortunately, research also suggests that chiropractic care can improve range of motion and alleviate pain associated with whiplash injuries.
Symptoms of a whiplash
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Shoulder pain
- Low back pain
- Pain in your arm or hand
- Numbness in your arm or hand
- Ringing in your ears
- Blurred vision
- Concentration or memory problems
Why it matters?
While driving on the road, both the vehicle and your body generate forces that contribute to kinetic energy. In the event of an accident, vehicles are designed to dissipate this energy. However, regardless of the type of car, your body still absorbs some of the impact, potentially causing injuries. During a car accident, your head undergoes sudden forward and backward movements with significant force. If you’ve sustained a whiplash injury, it means that your head and neck were forcefully extended beyond their normal range of motion. This can result in partial tears and damage to the muscles and ligaments surrounding your spine, as well as potential injuries to your spinal discs, nerves, and the supporting muscles of your spine. Key indicators of a whiplash injury may include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, dizziness, and pain in your upper or lower extremities.
In today’s context, we deem whiplash injuries as severe, given that the rapid back-and-forth motion during a collision accident can result in lasting damage to the ligaments of the neck. Estimates suggest that over 80% of individuals involved in a car accident will suffer from whiplash injuries. Moreover, more than 50% of people who experience neck pain or discomfort related to whiplash after a car accident will persist with such pain for a year or more following their initial injury, particularly if left untreated.
The next step to take if you are suffering from whiplash
Keep in mind that, your adrenaline is pumping right after the accident, so you might not sense any whiplash pain or overall physical discomfort due to likely shock. That’s why many people find themselves waking up the day after an accident and experiencing the full force of their injuries for the first time. If you’ve been in a car accident, you may be questioning how long your whiplash pain and other symptoms will persist. The reassuring news is that, with a proper evaluation and early treatment, you are likely to recover within a matter of weeks.
Getting the accurate diagnosis and care after a car accident can reduce the chances of dealing with whiplash pain and facing a lifetime of chronic neck pain. Our practice is committed to precisely evaluating, documenting and treating individuals involved in car accidents, aiding them in swiftly and safely recovering their quality of life. It’s essential not to overlook any accidents and to promptly address your symptoms. Instead, adhere to three straightforward and memorable steps.
Dr. Wendy have treated numerous individuals who experienced whiplash. If you’ve been a victim of a car accident or another incident resulting in whiplash, we encourage you to reach out for a full assessment of your health following the incident. Contact us today to protect your physical and emotional health moving forward.