Automobile accidents can change your life in a heartbeat.
One minute things are fine, then WHAM, next thing you know the
world has stopped... and you are in pain. Neck pain and headaches
are the most common conditions suffered in a auto accident. But
back pain, jaw pain, broken bones... even loss of life are common.
Whiplash is a non-medical term used to describe injury caused
by a rapid jerking of the neck either forward and backward or
side-to-side. It is most often associated with motor vehicle accidents,
but can also occur from falls, blows to the head, or sports accidents
to name a few. The sudden, forceful movement with whiplash causes
the neck to move beyond its normal range of motion. This can cause
tearing in the muscles, tendons and ligaments, which support the
neck and can lead to damage to the intervertebral disc, spinal
nerves or even spinal cord. Symptoms include swelling and/or tenderness
of the neck, difficulty swallowing, jaw problems, nausea, vomiting,
flashes of light, headache, dizziness, cognitive disturbance,
insomnia, pain, numbness and/or tingling into the shoulder or
arm, weakness in the neck, shoulder, arm or hand, or ringing in
the ears. Symptoms may be acute or chronic (longstanding). Often,
symptoms of whiplash may not manifest for weeks or even years.
Such an injury to the neck alters the proper biomechanics and
can lead to misalignment (subluxation) and a loss of the natural
curve of the cervical spine. A full 5% of the population will
experience a whiplash injury, and 43% of these people will develop
Chiropractors work to correct the biomechanical
problem causing the symptoms related to whiplash. A symptom-only
approach (i.e. pain medication) will not correct the problem.
One report examined 10,382 articles on neck injury and found traditional
techniques for whiplash (collars, injections, ultrasound, medication)
were largely ineffective. Several studies point to the success
of chiropractic for whiplash sufferers. One found 26% were completely
pain free after chiropractic intervention and the other 74% were
Your Doctor of Chiropractic can effectively treat
your injuries related to a motor vehicle accident. As is often
the case, the sooner you seek care the faster you may recover.
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