Health Blog & Videos

Whiplash

Car accidents can move bones out of alignment.

If there was enough force to bend sheet metal, there was enough force to potentially shift something out of alignment in your spine.  Since the top bone in your neck only has one lock, it is the easiest one to misalign.  This will give you headaches, neck pain, dizziness, facial pain and numbness, along with a list of other problems.

 Even when there are no dents visible on your car’s steel frame, the soft tissues of your spinal column are much more fragile.  People who have been involved in minor fender benders are often more concerned about damage to their cars than to themselves. But whether or not the airbags deployed is not a good measure of how much damage may have been done to your body.  If you noticed that you cell phone or wallet has moved, that means you did, too.

Whiplash Injuries at Low Speed Car Accidents

During a car accident, your neck is subjected to a sudden and often violent flexion forward and extension backwards.   Since your head weighs as much as a bowling ball.  You can experience up to 170 lbs. of force on the neck, even at speeds below 10 mph. This sudden acceleration/deceleration in an accident subjects the spine to a complex series of distortions known as whiplash.

Mild whiplash injuries can cause strain by having your neck muscles hyper-extended.  There may be torn ligaments that support the spine’s vertebrae. In severe cases, the discs between the vertebrae can herniate, or there could be damage to the nerves.

Most people don’t get the proper care to correct the damage of a car accident

Following a car accident, some people who experience stiffness may see a doctor or even visit the emergency room at a hospital. They usually look for broken bones and other life threatening problems.  Typically, the care will consist primarily of medication, which only masks the underlying problem by alleviating pain. Soft tissue damage does not necessarily show up on medical imaging such as X-ray, MRI or CT Scan.

 

Whiplash injuries appear long after a car accident

How a person feels directly after a car accident may have nothing to do with the unseen damage beneath the surface. Torn ligaments and tendons may begin to develop scar tissue, which will become painful much later.

 

Call our office today if you or someone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle accident and is experiencing discomfort.  

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