What causes whiplash? A whiplash injury occurs when the head and neck is thrown very quickly in one direction and then rebounds in the opposite direction. In other words, the head is whipped around on the neck. This motion causes damage to the joints, nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the neck, the major portion of this being vertebral subluxations.
Research has shown that even a low impact collision of 10 mph can cause whiplash injuries. Even in these types of accidents, the head can receive up to 250% more force than the car itself. Whiplash can also occur from sports injuries and falls.
These vertebral subluxations involve pressure on the nerves, which causes discomfort and sometimes, internal body dysfunction.
Symptoms of whiplash can be many and varied. Neck pain is the number one symptom; however, some patients experience numbness in their shoulder blades and arms. Some patients have headaches and others have pain in their eyes and other visual problems. Difficulty hearing, ringing in the ears and dizziness are not unheard of.
If the subluxations are not corrected, people may continue to have these symptoms for many years. Arthritic conditions will set in, disc problems may begin, and nerve supply to internal parts of the body may worsen. Whiplash injuries do not heal themselves. Many people can prevent major problems later in life by taking care of it early in life.
The first step in a chiropractic visit is to discuss your health history followed by an examination of your spine and any other related areas. The important parts in the examination are: 1) spinal motion; 2) status of the joints, nerves, ligaments, muscles and tendons; 3) the state of your posture and overall biomechanics; 4) the extent of damage to the nerves, spine and spinal cord.
Tests usually include x-rays, postural analysis, surface EMG, and thermal scans (nerve test) which help to ascertain the extent of the damage to the spine and nervous system. By using spinal adjusting, soft tissue work, and stretching, the involved areas of subluxation and whiplash will be returned to their normal state of function.
What would you rather experience in life: a normal working nervous system or one that is left to become permanently affected, only to decrease your quality of health as time passes?