Experiencing neck pain after a car accident? More cars on the road coupled with more drug and alcohol auto accidents make for more whiplash injuries. And because high freeway speeds may be involved, whiplash injuries tend to be more severe than they used to be.
In a car, the seated person’s back is in direct contact with the car seat’s back. Thus, a rear-end collision instantly propels the body forward with great force. This causes the head and neck to snap backward violently. An immediate reflex contraction of the neck’s muscles then snaps the head forward. This backward-forward snapping movement causes whiplash.
Auto accidents are not the only cause of whiplash. Any sudden stop of the human body that forcefully snaps the head and neck forward, backward or sideward can severely injure the neck’s soft tissues-its muscles, fasciae, blood vessels, nerves as well as the neck’s bones (vertebrae). A fall can do it, a sports mishap, an accident at work, or any other accident which “snaps” the head and neck, including head-on or side auto collisions.
Often symptoms are apparent immediately after or within a few hours following a whiplash incident. Damaged tissues, however, sometimes deteriorate slowly, so sometimes symptoms don’t develop for several days.
Did you know that…
An older accident victim will generally suffer more serious injuries because of decreased elasticity of the tissues, dramatic loss of flexibility and range of motion, significant loss of strength, and slowing of the natural healing rate.
Although seatbelts do save lives they actually increase the “whipping action” of the neck. This increased whipping reaction is directly related to the fact that the seatbelt keeps the body securely positioned in the seat. The additional whipping action has been shown to increase injury to the neck and its supporting structures.
A surprised victim of an accident does not have a chance to brace for the impact which will translate into more serious injury to the spine and nervous system
Studies show that approximately 50% of accident victims sustain injuries to the low back, and of these 15% develop serious nerve damage.
In a typical collision, having the head turned to one side, such as when talking to another passenger, can dramatically increase the amount of neck injury.
Generally speaking, a woman’s lighter musculature means that she will have a higher incidence of injury.
The greatest amount of injury in a typical rear-end collision is from the shifting about of the victim’s spine and the more the vehicle is accelerated and propelled forward, the more “whipping” action that occurs. Please note that in this case, the patient’s vehicle was forced several feet forward.
A vehicle that does not compress or crumple upon impact and therefore sustains little damage, will also absorb much of the collision and therefore transmit most of the impact to the occupants. This patient’s accident is a classic “bounce off” with little car damage but significant injury to the occupants.
A whiplash victim should get a thorough chiropractic examination as soon as possible after an accident to determine the extent of the injury. Schedule your appointment for a chiropractic examination and adjustment to prevent a small injury from becoming a much bigger problem. Book now by calling (619) 630-9153 or online by clicking here.