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What is Whiplash?

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is the popular term used to describe Cervical Acceleration / Deceleration Injuries.

Whiplash is an injury to the cervical vertebrae and adjacent soft tissues that occurs from a sudden jerking, or backward or forward acceleration, of the head. More than half of whiplash injuries occur in motor vehicle collisions in which there is little or no damage to the vehicle.

Whiplash - strain or sprain of cervical tissues

Between the tiny bones of the neck are joints that are pulled together by rubber band-like ligaments. Muscles attach to these bones and pull them apart. This cooperation results in a neck that naturally curves to the front of the body.

Upon impact, from a rear-end collision, your head and neck are hurled backwards and forwards. From this whipping back and forth of “Whiplash,” these gentle supporting tissues are pulled, twisted and torn. The discs between the bones can be easily crushed and the gelatinous material may bulge or herniate, compressing the spinal cord and nerves. The natural curve may also completely reverse itself. If whiplash occurs, you should speak with an experienced chiropractor.

Symptoms of Whiplash

Often a person involved in a car accident may not realize they have been injured because with whiplash pain or discomfort is not felt immediately. Usually the symptoms are not experienced until 24 hours to 1 week after the injury occurred.

Below are a few of the symptoms experienced when whiplash occurs:

  • Unable to hold head up without support
  • Sharp pain radiating in the neck and upper back
  •  Headaches and/or migraines
  •  A decrease in the range of motion in the neck
  • Numbness and/or tingling in the neck
  • General discomfort in the neck and upper back
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Irritability, sleep disturbances, and/or fatigue
  • Jaw pain/stiffness or teeth that feel like they aren’t fitting together correctly

What could our team of Chiropractors do to treat  whiplash injuries?

  • Perform a complete examination with x-rays to determine the extent of the injury sustained and provide a proper diagnosis.
  • The injury can be treated through spinal manipulation (adjustments), adjunctive therapy (i.e. heat, ice, electrical stimulation), Massage and/or Rehab Therapy.
  • Once the injury has been properly treated, our doctors will provide you with exercises and advise to keep your neck and spine healthy.

To learn more about treatment please visit our motor vehicle collision solutions page.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of Whiplash don’t hesitate to make your chiropractic appointment, call Walker Road Chiropractic at (503) 439-9494

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