Whiplash is an all-too-common injury that’s characterized by sudden movement/distortion of the neck. If a person’s head and neck are suddenly thrust forward, for instance, he or she may suffer from whiplash. The extension of the neck strains the muscles, bones and nerves, resulting in pain, discomfort and limited mobility. Thankfully, chiropractors can often treat and relieve the discomfort associated with whiplash.
To put the problem of whiplash into perspective, it’s estimated that approximately 6.2% of the entire U.S. population are currently suffering from this injury. A 2007 insurance report revealed that 430,000 people in the U.K. also made a claim for whiplash injury. With such a large portion of the population suffering from this condition, it’s important for the general public to educate themselves of the causes, and treatment, for whiplash.
The single most common cause of whiplash is automobile accidents where the vehicle is suddenly stopped. If a car rear-ends the back of a truck, the car’s driver and passengers may have their necks thrust forward while their bodies remain locked in place with seat belts. This aggressive thrusting motion can strain the muscles, bones and nerves in the neck, causing whiplash to manifest.
Whiplash consists of four different stages: initial position, retraction, extension and rebound. Initial position is the stationary position of the neck before the incident occurs; retraction is when the neck begins to retract outwards following the incident; extension is when the neck is fully extended to its peak; and rebound is when the neck begins to return back to the stationary position.
It’s a little known fact that the neck contains seven vertebrae, known as cervical vertebrae. If any of these vertebrae are dislodged, irritated or otherwise disrupted, it may lead to whiplash. Just as the vertebrae in the back may become irritated, so can the vertebrae in the neck.
There are well over a dozen different symptoms linked to whiplash, some of which include headaches, neck stiffness, pain in the neck, difficulty turning head side to side or up and down, dizziness, difficulty swallowing, nausea, and blurred vision. If you experience any of these symptoms after being in an automobile accident, schedule an appointment with your chiropractor immediately.
A chiropractor can aid in the relief of pain, discomfort, swelling and muscle spasms related to whiplash. First and foremost, however, the chiropractor will perform a physical examination to determine exactly what’s causing your symptoms. Just because you are experiencing muscle stiffness and pain in your neck doesn’t necessarily mean it’s whiplash. There are several other injuries and conditions that mimic the characteristics of whiplash, leaving some people to wrongfully believe they are suffering from the condition.
Call or email the staff at AtlantaChiroAndWellness.com to schedule an appointment.Share