Center for Health & Wellness

Whiplash is an older diagnosis that was used to summarize the injuries, primarily to the neck, that are sustained in a motor vehicle accident when the head moves back into hyper-extension and then forward into hyperflexion. In essence, the whipping motion of the head on the body causes tissues, both ligament and muscle, to tear as the muscles try to slow down the movement of the head. If you have ever wondered why drunk drivers generally sustain less injury in an accident, it’s because his or her nervous system is so impaired from the alcohol that the muscles do not react. This is not to say it is better to stay relaxed during an accident. If you have the opportunity to see the accident coming, it is best to brace for impact by pushing the head and body back firmly against the headrest and seat back, respectively.

This injury is now commonly diagnosed as a sprain/strain injury of the neck. Sometimes the force of the accident can be so great that bones in the neck are fractured; that is why it is important that we x-ray motor vehicle patients so we can rule out serious injury. It’s also important to be on the lookout for symptoms other than pain: dizziness, headaches, memory loss, ringing in the ears, vision changes, balance disturbances, etc.

Chiropractic treatment is very successful in the management of most injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Not only does the treatment help reduce inflammation, healing times, and pain, but it also prevents loss of range of motion.

If you have recently been in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important that you get treatment right away (even if it is not from this clinic!) to ensure that you reach your maximum healing potential.

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Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this information is only for general knowledge; it is not to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment.