What Is Whiplash & Why It Is Important To Treat?
One of the most common serious injuries from a car crash is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when a sudden, jarring movement of the head is sustained backward, forward or even to the side. The most common type of car accident that causes whiplash is the rear impact collision.
Whiplash occurs when a great force causes the neck to go beyond its normal range of motion. This action can cause ligaments to be stretched or torn. The spinal vertebrae and muscles may also be injured by this force.
As a result of this trauma, there may neck pain and stiffness, headaches, shoulder pain, arm pain, nausea and/or cognitive difficulties such as dizziness or trouble concentrating. These symptoms may appear immediately or after a few days.
It is critical that chiropractic care is sought immediately after an automobile accident since allowing the effects of whiplash to go untreated can induce long term pain and loss of movement.
The seriousness of the physical effects of an accident is not always known or felt immediately. It can take days, weeks or even months for major symptoms to show up, which is why chiropractic care is essential for the health of a spine that has sustained a trauma.
Any body part that is jarred or thrown forward unexpectedly and beyond normal limits can sustain stretched or torn ligaments. Those ligaments that support the head and neck are especially vulnerable to injury during a collision. Since chiropractors focus on the care of bones, muscles, nerves and connective tissue, they are crucial to visit after an accident. Any body part that is jarred or thrown forward unexpectedly and beyond normal limits can sustain stretched or torn ligaments. Those ligaments that support the head and neck are especially vulnerable to injury during a collision. Since chiropractors focus on the care of bones, muscles, nerves and connective tissue, they are crucial to visit after an accident.
Early care and treatment means full healing and recovery is quickly realized. Even a car crash that is seemingly minor with limited damage to the car itself can cause serious injury to the driver and passengers. Chiropractic treatments are the right step toward restoring the body. We relieve pain, make necessary adjustments to spinal alignment and may include physical therapy, manual therapy and rehabilitation exercises. Beyond treatment, advice for optimal nutrition, as well as exercises to continue healing on your own after appointments, are just a few examples of the way Community Health & Wellness Center cares for the whole individual after an accident.
Untreated whiplash injuries can become complex and may lead to variety of debilitating problems, including:
Joint dysfunction. As a result of the whiplash, one of the joints in the spine may lose its normal resiliency and shock absorption, possibly leading to chronic restricted range of movement and pain.
Disc herniation. A whiplash accident may injure the discs between the vertebrae, lead to small tears and cause the inner core of the disc to extrude through its outer core. If the disc's inner core comes in contact with and irritates a nearby spinal nerve root, a herniated disc occurs, with symptoms possibly including sharp, shooting pain down the arm and even neurological symptoms like numbness, tingling and muscle weakness.
Faulty movement patterns. It is believed that the nervous system may change the way in which it controls the coordinated function of muscles as a result of a barrage of intense pain signals from the whiplash injury.
Chronic pain. While often resulting in minor muscle sprains and strains that heal with time, more severe whiplash injuries may produce neck pain and other symptoms that are persistent and long-lasting (chronic).
Cognitive and higher center dysfunction. In some instances, whiplash may affect the patient's mental functioning, possibly leading to difficulties concentrating, as just one example.
A common misconception about whiplash injury is that if the vehicle does not sustain damage in a low speed impact, then whiplash injury to the occupant does not occur.
In reality, low impact collisions can produce correspondingly higher dynamic loading on the occupants because the lack of crushing metal to absorb the forces results in a greater force applied to items or occupants within the vehicle.
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