You’re sitting in your car at a stop light when all of a sudden “BAM,” another car hits you from behind. The driver was texting and never even saw that you had stopped. You’re taken for emergency treatment, complete with X-rays, muscle relaxers and even a sedative or two to calm your nerves, and are released with no serious complications… yet.
Whiplash is one of the most misunderstood of all conditions; many doctors and insurance companies view it simply as a means to get more money from insurance companies. What many health care providers fail to realize is that the real damage caused by a whiplash injury may take years to show up, and when it does, it can be quite serious, even debilitating.
A whiplash neck injury occurs when there is a sudden backward and forward whipping movement of the neck that is often the result of a rear end automobile crash. Consider the fact that a car, travelling at even slow speeds can generate tremendous force on the victim’s neck.
The result of a sudden hit like this can stretch or sprain muscles and ligaments that provide proper range of motion. As time goes by, this can change the entire structure of the spine, causing degenerative disc disease, and other conditions, that could have been avoided if proper chiropractic adjustments were started right after the accident occurred.
Many patients think that if the pain they feel the day after an accident is minor, then they are “saved.” Then, years later, they begin to experience extreme neck and back trauma that branches out to other parts of the body through the nervous system. Others experience significant neck pain that goes away after a month or so. Then, perhaps 10-20 years later, they may begin to experience symptoms such as extreme neck pain, tingling down the arms into the fingers, and trouble sleeping that all relate back to the original whiplash injury!
The moral of this story is to let you know the importance of seeking an extensive chiropractic evaluation and proper treatment following any whiplash injury, however minor you may think it is. Early detection of an injury to the cervical spine (neck) can save you severe pain and the development of more serious conditions in future years.