Whiplash is one of the most common and well known injuries from a car accident. This occurs when the force of the accident ‘whips’ the head violently from direction to another farther than normal limits, resulting in muscles, tendons and ligaments that support the spine are overstretched, torn or irritated. The soft, cushioning discs that occupy the space between the spinal bones can herniate or rupture. Symptoms may take hours, days or weeks to appear.
Common symptoms include:
- Sore or still neck
- Pain, numbness, or tingling in the back, arms, shoulders, and hands
- Reduced ability to move the head
- Ringing in the ears, dizziness, hearing loss, or blurred vision
Whiplash may not be a minor injury, Even though damage to your car may be minimal, whiplash may have caused spinal damage. Frequently, lifelong health problems begin as a whiplash injury that was dismissed as minor at the time. Any trauma to the spine can disturb the normal position and motion of the vertebrae, affecting nearby muscles, ligaments and discs. Doctors call these vertebral subluxations. The vertebrae protect the spinal cord so even a small disturbance can have a profoundly adverse affect on the delicate nerve tissue.
The damage to the nervous system can cause tissue and organ damage throughout the body an enable it to function properly. This degenerative chain reaction is the result of many underlying health problems and can slowly destroy even good health. Medical doctors are trained to treat life threatening emergencies such as bleeding and broken bones. They are not trained to recognize underlying spinal damage. Many patients leave the emergency room with a health problem that will only grow worse with time. Health conditions seemingly unrelated to the back can often be traced to the nervous system impairment involving the spine.
Treatment will vary depending to the severity of your condition. A series of adjustments will most likely be performed. An adjustment is a precisely applied force to an area to help restore balance to the spine and relieve pain and stiffness. Other therapies may be recommended to help relax or strengthen the muscles or to reduce swelling. Ice and heat therapies, massage, traction or trigger point therapies may be utilized. Lifestyle modifications such as the reduction of stress or dietary changes may be suggested.