Whiplash 101: Common Causes and Treatment Options

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Whiplash is a common injury that affects millions of individuals worldwide. It’s characterized by sudden thrusting movements in the neck, which generally causes pain and discomfort. As with any neck injury, whiplash should be taken seriously to avoid any permanent health problems. Whether the pain is minimal or severe, those suffering from this condition need to seek treatment immediately. Here we’ll go over some of the most common causes of whiplash, as well as treatment options available for it.

During the early to mid 1900s, this condition was actually referred to as “railroad spine” simply because most cases were the result of train accidents. When a train wrecked or was forced to brake suddenly, passengers riding inside were thrust forward, placing them at risk for developing railroad spine, or what’s more commonly known today as whiplash. There wasn’t much known about the condition back then, so those suffering from it had limited treatment options.

Once the automobile was invented, the number of railroad spine cases soared. As a result, the condition was renamed to “whiplash,” and it’s stuck ever since. Today, whiplash is one of the most common forms of automobile injuries, affecting nearly 3 million Americans each year. To make matters worse, many of those suffering from it never seek treatment, increasing their risk of permanent damage. If you are suffering from whiplash, you must seek treatment immediately to avoid any long-term damage. Trust me, chronic neck pain is something that you don’t want to deal with.

The neck contains a series of muscle ligaments and soft tissue surrounding the spinal cord and nerves. If an automobile accident or any other type of movement forces the neck to thrust forward rapidly, it may stretch these muscle ligaments and tissue beyond their normal reach; thus, resulting in the condition known as whiplash. Whiplash may only cause minor discomfort, or it may cause severe pins-and-needles pain that’s incredible difficult to cope with.

It’s important to note that accidents aren’t the only cause of whiplash. Athletes who play full-contact sports are at risk of developing the condition as well. Thankfully, football players are requires to wear thick padding under their neck to reduce the chance of whiplash from occurring. When a player runs head-to-head with another player, the padding underneath their neck absorbs the blow to prevent stretching of their muscles and tissue.

There are several different treatment options available for whiplash. First and foremost, though, you need to have an examination performed by a licensed and experienced chiropractor. They will be able to closely examine your neck and surrounding area to determine where the location of the pain. Using this information, they will create a personalized treatment plan based on your specific condition. Some cases my require for rest and relaxation, while others may heal faster from physical adjustments and manipulations. Talk with your chiropractor to voice any concerns or questions you have about the treatment.


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