worry about your neck, not your bumper
Your head sits atop of your neck like
an upright pendulum. Without notice, a car slams into your rear bumper. Your head extends forward, then immediately
backward as your neck compensates for the sudden movement. In this split second, the ligaments, tendons, and nerves in your
neck can all be torn instantaneously. Occurrences like this happen thousands of times each day. Even after all
the paperwork has been accounted for and the car has been fixed, whiplash still remains.
Car accidents are one
of the many causes of whiplash; other cases may be a result of sports injuries, or a serious fall. However, with an
abundance of motorists on the road each year, the risk of being in a whiplash-related accident is a high probability.
The slightest impact in a car can result in neck and cervical distress. “An 8mph car collision produces two
times the force of gravity (or a G-2) deceleration of the car, and a 5-G deceleration of the head. This unnatural and
forceful movement affects the muscles and ligaments in the neck, stretching, and potentially tearing them.”
Anyone that experiences pain after an accident should not ignore the symptoms.
The broad range of symptoms and lack of significant tangible evidence (i.e. scarring, broken
bones) leads many medical doctors and insurance companies to dismiss whiplash and prescribe rest and temporary painkillers.
The most common source of pain is usually caused by stretched or torn ligaments, which cannot be seen by the naked eye.
The spinal structure is incredibly vulnerable during an accident, discs in the vertebrae could slip out of alignment and
pain could show up days or even weeks later. Symptoms can start off fairly mild and progressively get worse.
Initially, whiplash pain may be similar to muscle soreness, but as it intensifies, concussion-like symptoms may appear such
as fatigue, dizziness, and blurred vision.
It is important for whiplash patients to seek a chiropractor for corrective
help because of their expertise in spinal manipulation. “Chiropractic care, with its emphasis on comprehensive
spinal health, is well suited to the complex, diverse symptoms and therapeutic response that have contributed to seeming
confusion regarding whiplash…. A chiropractor’s systematic approach to treatment, with a realistic focus
on active rehabilitation, can achieve better-than-average results for many patients.” Through methods of
manipulative care, chiropractors provide a critical approach for whiplash patients by slowly strengthening the damaged ligaments
and tissues back to health.
The primary goal for a whiplash patient is to restore movement and functionality in the
damaged areas. Inactivity will not help the muscles become reoriented with their original range of motion. Routine
adjustments from a chiropractor are critical, but patients must be proactive at home as well.
Between regular visits
with a chiropractor, whiplash patients should begin at-home rehabilitation to the injured spinal structure. As the
soreness subsides, treatment for whiplash must involve re-strengthening the ligaments in the neck that have been overly
strained. As mobility in the neck is restored, resistance should be gradually increased to enhance balance and strength.
Whiplash is a very severe injury to a critical part of the body. Effective recovery must include a solid balance between
chiropractic care, rest, and proper exercise. These methods of treatment are cost efficient and many can be done in the
convenience of home. Whiplash is not something that you “live with.” The pain can be defeated and
life can resume back to normalcy.
 Walker, Kamiah A., (2010 Feb, 1) Causes of Whiplash. http://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/whiplash/causes-whiplash
 Practical Research Studies (1993)