If You Get Whiplash in an Auto Accident

Have you ever been in a car accident? According to the National Safety Council, odds are you will have a total of three to four accidents in your driving lifetime whether its your fault or another driver's.

There are about 10 million auto accidents each year, from parking lot scrapes to multi-car pileups. If you get whiplash in an auto accident, you may not even know it. Some symptoms can take weeks or even months before they manifest and start to become noticeable. Regardless of the type of accident and amount of pain experienced initially, all impacts warrant a spinal assessment for the below following reasons.   

Any body part that is jarred or thrown forward unexpectedly beyond normal limits can sustain stretched ligaments and even tears. Those ligaments supporting the head and neck are especially vulnerable to this because even though your body is held relatively still by a seatbelt, your head and neck are vulnerable by moving very rapidly through an excessive range of motion when a sudden impact happens.

Hyperflexion-hyperextension injuries--(often called whiplash)-- affect soft tissues in the neck, as well as the joint's and intervertebral discs.  Whiplash is exactly like what it sounds like, a forceful, rapid back (hyperextension) and forth (hyperflexion) movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip.  

Most assume that whiplash in an auto accident injuries only occur during high-speed accidents, but a change in speed of just 2-3 miles per hour can cause it. Whiplash injuries can create instability to the spine and causes pain as well as headaches, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, lack of concentration/clarity, low back pain, depression and more.

Chiropractors are musculoskeletal specialists who specialize in assessing injuries related to the nerves, muscles, joints and connective tissues of the spine. At any stage of healing and recovery from whiplash-associated injuries, chiropractic adjustments can help reduce pain and restore normal function.

The first thing you need to do is to schedule an appointment for a spinal evaluation. The mechanics of any impact are important, so be sure to mention even small details to your chiropractor so a clear understanding of any injuries can be detected.

After an initial examination of your spinal column, your chiropractor will be able to determine the parts of your body that were most affected by the car crash especially misalignments in the spine. These misalignments will lead to inflammation and stiffness in the surrounding soft tissues and spinal joints. 

Spinal adjustments will work to gently realign your spine by gently guiding it into the proper position. Once correctly aligned, inflammation and soreness should begin to ease up, which will in turn reduce or eliminate any pain or immobility you may have been experiencing.

When you treat injuries right away, you are putting the body in the best possible position to heal and recover quickly without having residual and chronic issues in the future.

If you have been in a car accident, call Belltown Spine & Wellness for a free consultation to make sure your on the right path of recovery.