A body in motion tends to stay in motion. That’s why your body keeps moving forward even after your car stops in an auto accident. Then, of course, your seat belt and airbag kick in and your body returns to the seat, but not before you’ve experienced a violent whipping motion forward, then back.
This is called whiplash, and it’s one of the most common injuries sustained in a car crash. It happens when your neck is hyperextended and hyperflexed, causing damage to the soft tissues in your spine.
Our team at Pro Rehab specializes in identifying this common condition and treating your symptoms. We also stress the importance of taking all the right steps following any collision to keep yourself safe and covered, both medically and legally. As you go through the checklist, here are a few things you should know about whiplash.
Don’t be surprised by a delayed reaction
Whiplash injuries are not always obvious immediately following an accident. Several factors may be responsible for this. First, the nature of a collision invokes your body’s fight-or-flight response. Adrenaline and endorphins combine to create a chemical state that aids your ability to cope with danger. Part of that response is the masking of pain resulting from injury.
Second, the whipping motion of your body may lead to a misalignment and imbalance in your musculoskeletal system. You may not begin to feel the consequences of these changes for several days after the accident.
Every accident is different, and your response to your accident may result in whiplash or other injuries. If you have suffered whiplash, your symptoms may not be the same as your passenger or the driver of the other vehicle. That makes it a little tricky to label, but here are a few of the most common symptoms to look for:
- Stiff, painful neck
- Decreased range of motion in the neck
- Pain that intensifies with motion
- Shoulder pain
- Stiff arms and upper back
- Numbness and tingling sensations
- Headaches originating at the base of the skull
- Dizziness and nausea
Beyond pain, you may notice some changes related to whiplash that you might not necessarily associate with your accident. These include:
- Memory and concentration issues
- Mood changes and depression
- Hearing problems, like ringing in your ears
- Vision problems such as blurry or double vision
- Problems sleeping
How chiropractic care can help your whiplash
After an auto accident, you should get medical attention right away, regardless of whether you feel pain. Internal injuries may not be immediately apparent, but extensive medical testing can determine specific conditions and point to appropriate treatment plans.
If one of your injuries is whiplash, chiropractic care, which restores alignment and rebalances your body, offers some big advantages.
The nature of whiplash, whether caused by an auto accident or other injury, involves a violent whipping motion of your head and neck, which jars your joints and damages your soft tissue. Muscles typically at rest may now have to contract to hold your body in normal position. Nerves and blood vessels that were unrestricted prior to the collision could now be pressed against neighboring tissue, resulting in nerve irritation and compromised blood flow.
Chiropractic adjustments ease these conditions and realign your body so that your anatomy can once again work in harmony. The main benefit of these chiropractic adjustments is the release of nerve tissue and improved blood flow. Restoring these is critical to aid your body’s natural healing process.
Chiropractic care doesn’t fix the damage that whiplash causes; it allows your body to heal itself.
If you’ve been in a car accident and are wondering whether you may have sustained whiplash, give us a call or book an appointment online, even if you haven’t noticed whiplash symptoms yet. Visit us at one of our locations in Wilmington, Newark, Middletown or Lewes. We can help you coordinate all of your post-collision care.