Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs in people who are a subjected to a sudden acceleration-deceleration force resulting in an unrestrained, rapid movement of the head and neck, which is propelled forward and backward within a split second.
This type of injury usually happens during auto accidents, but there are other possible scenarios that might result in it.
The bones and soft tissues around the neck can potentially be damaged during this type of incident. This may reflect on the physical body in the form of chronic pains with varying degrees of severeness.
The good news is whiplash is not a life-threatening injury. The only problem is, if not treated early enough, there might be both physical and economical consequences on the person affected. Here are a few critical facts you need to know about whiplash.
Speeds less than 5mph may be enough to cause a whiplash
According to a research conducted on low speed rear impact, it was concluded that one does not need to move at high speed for a whiplash to occur. The results from the test showed that even at a speed of 2.5 mph, 29% of people involved in car accidents can still develop symptoms related to whiplash.
Pain isn’t the only symptom
Most people suffering from whiplash will complain about neck pain, shoulder pain, fatigue, headache, jaw pain, dizziness, visual disturbance and back pain.
In severe cases, the patient may end up depressed, frustrated, anxious and stressed. Because of the chronic pain, certain individuals may become dependent on drugs.
Taking a rest might worsen the case
After a whiplash incident, you may think that resting for a few days might relieve the pain. Research suggests otherwise. By allowing your affected neck muscles and soft tissues to rest, they may stiffen, which can only result in a slower healing process.
The best would be to return your usual daily activities even if you still feel moderate pain. Many studies have shown that the earlier you get back to your daily activities, the quicker you are going to heal. However, if the pain is severe, please consult your doctor immediately.
X-rays may not reveal a fracture
A powerful rear-end collision that occurs in a car moving at a high speed can potentially result in the fracture of the bones in the neck. Nevertheless, most cases of whiplashes are usually negative for fractures when x-rayed. Because there is no sign of any physical injury, insurance companies may be reluctant to cover your medical bills for a pain that only you claim exist.
However, a common finding that is usually associated with whiplash is the straightening of the cervical curve. This is usually caused by muscle spasm resulting from the shock from the rear-end collision, and may explain the pain. Depending on the circumstances, the straightening of the cervical curve may be enough for you to request for an insurance coverage.
Whiplash can be caused by more than auto accidents
Even though usually associated to car crashes, whiplashes can occur in other incidents including falling or slipping. Extreme sports that require the participants to perform acrobatic movement can potential cause a whiplash. Even people involved in activities like soccer, basketball and boxing can end up with a whiplash.
Chiropractic care can help
Chiropractors have the necessary expertise to treat many of the injuries associated with the spinal cord.
During your visit, a thorough examination will be performed and if necessary, you will be requested to take an x-ray or any other scan to see through the neck. After the diagnosis, the chiropractor will provide treatment for both the injured vertebrae and the soft tissues around the neck. He will also make recommendations on what you can do to ease the pain when at home or at work.
Treatment can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on the severity of injury, and in the State of Florida your PIP coverage will cover medical expenses, including chiropractic and certain types of massage, up to $10,000.
Remember, it’s a bad idea to suffer through the pain hoping that it will eventually go away on its own. The best is to see a highly trained professional that can assist you. If you or anyone you know is suffering from whiplash trauma, please call Dr. Kaster’s office today for a consultation.
Dr. Kaster works in conjuction with other physicians and professionals in the community who treat and serve auto accident patients. As a Chiropractor, he is trained to treat joint, muscle and ligament injuries, and thus well-qualified to manage the victims of auto accidents. His primary role is to keep the facet joints mobilized, enhance optimal healing by treating muscles and ligaments, and reducing the likelihood of permanent pain.