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June 17, 2013
What exactly is whiplash?
Anytime the spine is unexpectedly moved in one direction and then it rebounds in the opposite direction there is the possibility of developing a whiplash type injury. It can happen in a backwards and forwards direction or it can be in a side to side motion. The most commom cause of whiplash injury is in motor vehicle accidents, where your body goes through an extremely rapid and intense acceleration and deceleration. With such a violent and forceful movement, damage to the vertebrae, nerves, discs, muscles, and ligaments of your neck and spine can be significant.
Of course whiplash type injuries are not limited to motor vehicle accidents alone; Sports injuries, knocks falls and slips can all produce a whiplash type injury.
There are a number of common symptoms associated with whiplash. These symptoms include some or all of the following:
Most patients suffering from whiplash complain of some form of neck pain. This is a very common symptom and it may be either localised or it may refer into the head, down the arm or into the mid back region.
It is quite common for patients suffering a whiplash type injury to suffer from headaches. These often originate in the neck and refer into the head and are termed a cervicogenic headache. They are usually of a dull aching nature but can also be sharp. They may be localised in the back of the neck or refer into the front of the head.
Low back pain is a common complication of a whiplash injury. This can be the result of twisting in the restraint/ seatbelt and from rapid bending or twisting of the spine.
Whiplash type injuries can manifest in a wide variety of ways. The exact nature of the symptoms will vary depending on the patient’s direction of impact, speed of the vehicles involved, as well as age and physical condition. Each case will be different. It is not uncommon for signs and symptoms to come on after a period of time, sometimes with a delay of days, weeks or even months.
People often make the mistake of thinking that because there may be very little damage to the car that they can’t be injured. In fact even small accidents can cause whiplash, especially if you are not aware there is an impending accident about to happen and are unprepared. Often when there is no visible damage to the car it might mean that more of the impact force has been transferred to the occupant of the car. Whatever the situation be sure to be checked by your chiropractor as soon as possible after an accident to assess you for whiplash type injuries.
If you suffer with whiplash and would like to find out how a Chiropractic can help you, then call one of our clinics to make an appointment now!
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