Posts Tagged ‘whiplash’

What You Need to Know about Whiplash

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Did you know that the most common injury from an automobile accident is whiplash?  In fact, whiplash can occur in a collision at speeds a slow as 5 mph. 

Whiplash most commonly occurs to the driver or passenger of a motor vehicle that is struck from behind by another vehicle.  What happens in a whiplash injury is that the passenger’s head is rapidly pulled back by the force of the collision and then is thrown forward and then back again.  Because this happens in milliseconds, the muscles, tendons and ligaments are stretched beyond their normal physical limitations.  This extremely rapid extension and flexion is the cause of whiplash, leaving soft tissue structures damaged and needing up to needing months to heal!

The now stretched muscles, ligaments and tendons are hyper-mobile allowing the bones in the spine to move past their normal limits causing nerve root and disc irritation, but might not be noticeable for weeks or even months.   Unlike a broken bone where a simple x-ray can validate the presence of the fracture and standards of care can direct a health care professional as to the best way in which to handle the injury, whiplash injuries involve an unpredictable combination of nervous system, muscles joints and connective tissue disruption that is not simple to diagnose and can be even more of a challenge to treat.

While whiplash may be the most common injury, it may not present itself immediately. These complex injuries can manifest in a wide variety of ways, including neck pain, headaches, fatigue, upper back and shoulder pain, cognitive changes and low back pain.  Since many factors can play into overall whiplash trauma, such as direction of impact, speed of the vehicles involved, as well as sex, age and physical condition, it is impossible to predict the pattern of symptoms that each individual will suffer.  Additionally, whiplash symptoms commonly have a delayed onset, often taking weeks or months to present.

The one sure thing about whiplash is that chiropractic care can help identify and treat whiplash.  Seeing a chiropractor immediately after a collision can speed your road to recovery.  Chiropractic care utilizes manual manipulation of the spine to restore the normal movement and position of the spinal vertebrae.  Manipulation involves the chiropractor gently moving the involved joint into the direction in which it is restricted.  It is by far the single-most effective treatment for minimizing the long-term impact of whiplash injuries, especially when coupled with massage therapy, trigger point therapy, exercise rehabilitation and other soft tissue rehabilitation modalities.

If you have been in an accident, make a chiropractic appointment as soon as you can. Details of your accident will help your chiropractor offer proper care for your whiplash injury, and speed your recovery so that you can get back to feeling your best.

Call our office at (916) 941-7508 to find out more information on how chiropractic care can help you.


Dr. Judd Lowrey, D.C. | Lowrey Chiropractic | El Dorado Hills & Folsom Chiropractor

(916) 941-7508