A whiplash injury takes less than one second to occur! This may sound fast, but it is consistent with most injuries. Think about the sprained ankle, you step off a curb on the side of your foot, the ankle twist, you hear a pop and you have a sprained ankle. There is pain and then over the next three days the ankle swells, the pain worsens and it turns black and blue. If you are fortunate in six weeks you have little to no pain. If you are like many others, six months later you still have on and off pain in the ankle. Injuries happen fast, healing is slow.
So often patients come in the office and are mad that a 20 MPH bump from behind that only did $1,000 damage to the car could injure their neck and spine to such a degree. They come in three months after the whiplash and have been to a few doctors or a couple PT appointments and were told to use some heat and rest, maybe take some ibuprofen, muscle relaxants and Vicodin and they should get better in six weeks. The at fault insurance and their own insurance company tells them they should be better by know. But there is still pain everyday and the headaches are getting worse.
Why and what to do? The why about whiplash injuries has text books written about it. In a nut shell, the joints of the spine are disrupted in the whiplash as the body is thrown backward and forward. The head actually stays still for the first millisecond of the collision creating an abnormal curve in the neck and jamming the joints of the neck. There is your sprain. Then the head is eventually pushed forward by the seat back, but the torso is stopped abruptly by the seatbelt and then the head snaps forward. There is your strain to the muscles and stretching to the joints in the back portion of the neck. This does not even touch the lap belt and what it does to the low back. Nor what the shoulder strap of the seatbelt does to the shoulder. But of those areas are injured also.
What to do? Early movement, early exercise, early mobilization of the joints that are fixated with chiropractic adjustments, ice and massage. Along with this return to your normal life activity as soon as possible (immediately if at all possible).
At Advanced Chiropractic I treat whiplash victims everyday. I see neck pain, headaches, low back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain and rib pain from car accidents. My average patient that comes in right after the collision (with in a week) is 50% improved within a month. The next couple months the progress is a little slower, but most people do heal to a pre accident status.
If you have had a whiplash injury in the Everett Wa area and are looking for some help please give us a call. This office is set up to take care of you and can usually get you in the day you call. Who wants to sit around in pain?