Injuries from small car accidents are often over looked or even ignored. Whiplash, though, is not a small thing; however, the symptoms may not appear right away. It can take up to two years for someone to feel the effects of a whiplash injury. You think: how could that be? If I am injured, I should feel it right away, but, that is not always the case.
Definition of whiplash (according to the free dictionary.com): whiplash is any injury to the neck resulting from a sudden thrusting forwards and snapping back of the head. The technical name is hyper extension-hyper flexion injury. When we think of whiplash, we often picture crash test dummies, and we think it only happens in the forward motion, but it can also happen side to side as well.
Basically, the muscles in the neck have gone too far forward and too far backwards. These muscles may be sprained or strained. Some patients feel the soreness and tightness immediately following the accident. Some patients may feel a headache. Others may not feel anything or the soreness may go away quickly. Just because you don’t feel anything, doesn’t mean there isn’t anything wrong. What can happen with those that do not seek treatment is these muscles are now weaker from their injury. Over the next few weeks to years, the patient goes on with their daily activities which include driving, reading, computer use, and/or cell phone use and these activities cause wear and tear on the muscles in the neck. Because those muscles were injured, this wear and tear is felt worse. Often times, headaches will start to occur. This wear and tear coupled with the ignored whiplash can lead to more complex injuries such as fatigue, shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain, etc.
Numbers don’t lie. According to the director of the Spine Research Institute, “1 of 15 adults suffer from the annoying and debilitating long term effects of a whiplash injury.”
So what do you do? Fortunately, whiplash is treatable. It’s best to get it treated after your accident, but if you are a procrastinator or you just didn’t feel as if it was “that bad,” chiropractic care and physical therapy can help. We start with an exam and x rays to assess the damage. Then, a care plan is designed for you. The good news is there are tons of studies where chiropractic and physical therapy have successfully treated whip lash injuries.
Suffering from whiplash? It’s not too late to get relief. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.