Someone is involved in an automobile collision every five seconds. Wham! You have just been rear-ended. Except for a minor pain in the neck, you seem to be okay. The next morning, however, you wake up with the pain in your head and neck and then when you try to sit up, you feel intense pain and light-headedness. What you are experiencing are the symptoms of whiplash-an injury in which the neck is “whipped” in a rapid backward motion as the car lurches ahead followed by a rapid forward motion as the seatbelt grabs you and the car slows down.
A person suffering from whiplash may not realize the extent of the injury for some time. In fact, research shows that days to weeks to months may elapse before pain presents itself. Common symptoms following whiplash are neck pain and stiffness, upper back pain, headaches, mid back, lower back pain, pain and weakness of the arms and legs, dizziness, jaw pain (TMJ), hearing or visual changes, and difficulty swallowing.
The speed of the collision and damage to the vehicle can be very misleading. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards mandate that all cars sold or imported to the U.S. have either 2.5 or 5 mile per hour bumper. What happens when two cars each equipped with 5 mile per hour bumpers collide 9 miles per hour? They would very likely be able to absorb the energy without any apparent damage, however, much of this energy has been shown to be transferred directly to the occupant and this means whiplash.
Forces generated in whiplash injuries have been shown to be 2 ½ times the forces sustained by the vehicle and although insurance industry-funded crash testing has shown that five-mile per hour is the real threshold for neck injuries, you’ll never hear them admit it publicly.
A common myth is that all whiplash injuries will heal spontaneously within the next few weeks. There has NEVER been any valid research published to support this claim.
After a whiplash injury, healing of nerves, ligaments, muscles, and tendons occurs with scar tissue formation rather than by regeneration of damaged tissue. Scar tissue is weaker, less elastic, less pliable, and more pain sensitive than healthy tissue. This makes prompt and proper treatment essential for healing and rehabilitation.
So what is the best treatment for whiplash? Chiropractic Care! Make an appointment immediately after the accident so we may begin your treatment quickly. Even the prestigious medical journal, “Spine” states that “early manual therapy [manipulation] has been shown to be superior to rest… in the management of acute whiplash injuries”.
Iselborn Chiropractic & Sports Medicine can provide the therapy you need for the quickest and best healing of your injuries. Remember, the longer you wait to get care, the longer your injury may take to heal.