Why Whiplash Is a Serious Concern

No, we’re not talking about the new film Whiplash that won an Oscar this year. Instead, we want you to think about if you’ve ever been in a car accident and remember your head bouncing back against the headrest. Even though the headrest stopped the motion of your head, your neck still suffered from something called whiplash.

Even if you’ve only ever been in an accident as minor as a fender bender, your neck still suffered the effects of whiplash. Why should you see a chiropractor in Chattanooga right after a car accident, no matter how minor? We’re glad you asked.

What is whiplash?

A true whiplash injury is one in which the soft tissue in the neck is injured. It is also known as neck sprain or neck strain. It most commonly occurs in car accidents, namely ones in which a car is rear-ended. The impact from the rear causes more violence to the neck than any other type of car accident. Whiplash can also occur as a result of contact in sports, or any other type of bodily contact in which the neck is extended and flexed beyond its usual boundaries (falls, work injuries, etc.). The NIH tells us that symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Shoulder or back pain

Does any of this sound familiar? Has this happened to your neck?

How does chiropractic help?

Most Chattanooga healthcare providers will tell you to immobilize your neck for two to three weeks in a medical collar and take painkillers, and then the pain will go away. But chiropractic has a different solution. If you have a Chattanooga, TN chiropractor, he will probably tell you a few things about whiplash. First he will do a thorough examination both of your medical history and of the injury site. His next step will most likely be to use spinal manipulation—gently moving the injured vertebra in the direction in which it has been restricted.

Spinal manipulation is the most important part of whiplash treatment because it puts your spine back into its original alignment, allowing the injured muscles and ligaments relief from tension. Whiplash will push your cervical vertebrae out of alignment, pulling muscles and causing tension, leading to pain. After spinal manipulation, most chiropractors will recommend ultrasound and/or electric stimulation to stretch and soothe these inflamed muscles. Finally, he will direct you in a Chattanooga home stretching regimen to strengthen injured muscles, another sure way to recover more quickly.

When to Go

It is true that you will be in pain as a result of most whiplash injuries. But as this chiropractor’s blog explains, you can get whiplash at speeds as low as, or less than, 5 mph. In fact, a 10mph rear-end collision can exert as much as 9 Gs of force on your neck! The speed of the accident doesn’t correlate with how much injury your body sustains.

Another interesting fact is that most whiplash pain doesn’t appear until 2 to 48 hours after the accident occurs. That means you can feel like you are fine after getting rear-ended at a stoplight, and then two days later feel mysterious soreness in your neck. If this occurs, do not ignore it! Whiplash left untreated will turn into a long-term condition. You should see your Chattanooga, TN chiropractor within a few days of your accident, whether you feel pain or not.

Have you ever been treated for whiplash?

If you’ve ever been in a car accident in the Chattanooga area but have never sought chiropractic treatment, and have mysterious neck pain, it is most likely you are dealing with the long-term condition whiplash can lead to. Seeking out a chiropractor can only help, whether you were in an accident last week or last year.

Have you ever been treated for whiplash? Did you see a chiropractor or just take painkillers? We want to know your whiplash story! Leave us a comment in the box below, and we’ll answer right away.

Categories: Spine Health

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