What is Whiplash?

What is Whiplash?

At the moment of impact, your head begins to travel backwards with force. Once your head reaches the maximum extension backwards, it will start to rapidly travel forward, producing a movement similar to a ‘whip’. This process is so sudden and violent that it can seriously damage your muscles and nerves in your neck as well as misalign the vertebra. Other common effects are a sore throat, loss of voice, difficulty swallowing or chewing, shoulder pain, neck swelling, neck pain, back pain, numbness and tingling in arms & legs, pinched nerves, headaches and post traumatic stress. There is also the possibility of symptoms like vertigo, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, vision and hearing problems, short-term memory loss and insomnia.

Whiplash affects more than 50,000 people each year who have been in an auto accident. 80% of these whiplash injuries occur during rear-end collisions, many of them at speeds as low as 8 km/hr. 50% of whiplash victims can take from three months to one year to recuperate. If you've been involved in an auto accident and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you should seek care immediately. 

What Actually Happens in a Car Crash?

There is a transfer of the forces from the vehicle that crashes into you during a car crash.  This force gets transferred to your body.  Even though there may be minimal damage to the vehicle, your neck and back can get significant shearing, bending, and compressive forces transferred to your neck and back.  These compressive, shearing, and tearing forces commonly cause damage and micro tearing to the muscles, ligaments, facets, discs, facet joints, joint capsules of the spine.  This can lead to significant injury to your neck and back causing significant pain in the neck and back, with radiating numbness, tingling, and difficulty with memory and brain injury/dysfunction.  People may become anxious, have headaches, difficulty sleeping, and performing their day to day household duties and other activities.  Activities that were once common place and pain free can cause a lot of pain & lead to loss of enjoyment of life.  If you were hurt in a car accident you should seek immediate care.  Chiropractic treatment is very effective in treating whiplash and other injuries due to a car crash.  If you have been hurt in a car accident, call (503) 390-1552 in Salem, Keizer area, & (503) 642-2845 in Aloha, Beaverton area.  We are here to help you.