Whiplash is No Joke. What You Don’t Know Can Affect Your Quality of Life
People seek out our advice at Wellness Solution Centers for a lot of reasons. Mostly, patients seek us out because how they FEEL is getting in the way of the things they want to do or have to do either totally or partially and they want to get their quality of life back. This is especially true with accidents that result in whiplash.
We ask a lot of questions when we sit down for the first time with a new patient. One question in particular gives us a lot of useful information as we try to piece together their health history: Can you recall ever having any accident, injury or concussion even if it wasn’t recent? About 99% of the time we ask that question we get a big YES. This is such an important question because we know that when a patient sustains an injury it is going to leave a mark and contribute their overall health.
Whiplash from a car accident, sports injuries or slips and falls
Whiplash is most commonly received while riding in a car that is struck from the front, back or side. It also occurs from sports injuries, slips and falls or unexpected, rapid motions of the neck. When the head is suddenly jerked either forward and back, back and forward or side to side, the muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues supporting the spine and head can be overstretched or torn. The soft, pulpy discs between spinal bones can bulge, tear or rupture. Vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion. The spinal cord and nerve roots in the neck can get stretched and irritated.
According to Harvard Health Publications, the resulting instability of the spine and soft tissues can result in headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, pain in the shoulder, arms and hands, reduced ability to turn and bend, and even low back problems. As the body attempts to adapt, symptoms may not appear for weeks or even months.
Symptoms of whiplash may not appear for weeks
Think about the last sentence. Symptoms may not appear for weeks or months after a whiplash injury. I can’t tell you how many patients we encounter that have sustained a whiplash injury in their lifetime and never did anything about it. Have you ever had one of those days when you woke up in pain and you don’t know what you did to cause it? What most patients don’t know is that their spontaneous pain may be a result of an unresolved injury that knocked their spine out of alignment and it was never addressed.
Dr. Arthur Croft of the Spine Research Institute of San Diego states that patients who have a whiplash injury treated immediately suffer significantly less long-term effects than those who delay treatment or receive no treatment at all. Long-term effects of untreated whiplash are chronic pain and loss of function, permanent damage to the vertebrae and nervous system, as well as accelerated degeneration of the cervical spine. This is why we incorporate the use of x-ray as a diagnostic tool in our office. Images of the spine can reveal hidden damage that is directly related to any of the injuries previously listed.
As I stated in the beginning of this article, patients usually decide to seek treatment in our office because they are struggling to do the things that they want to do or have to do either totally or partially. It’s human nature to want to get the quality of life you once enjoyed back to where it once was.
Does any of this information hit home? Did any of this information jog your memory about injuries you may have sustained and never did anything about? How about the people you care about? Can you think of anyone that has been injured that did nothing about it?
If you or anyone in your family has been recently injured or are in pain and have no idea why, we encourage you to schedule an examination with the qualified chiropractors at Wellness Solution Centers. We will work to find where the spine is injured and get you started on the path to recovery. Call us at 215.968.1661.