How does Whiplash happen?
With a rear end impact, your upper body is forced forward while your head is forced into the head rest, then catapulted forwarded with usually several more oscillations. This will traumatize the nervous system, ligaments & the muscles on the front & the back of the neck. [it is best to avoid stretching & massage after an accident as this will further injure the muscles & release more inflammation.] click here for more information:
What are the Symptoms?
Neck Pain with loss of range of motion, Head ache, Tinnitus (ringing in the ears), Fatigue, Dizziness, Difficulty Sleeping & or Concentration, Visual disturbances, TMJ/jaw pain.
Who is more susceptible to Whiplash?
As per the Clevelandclinic.org:being a woman (having less muscle mass), being younger, having a history of neck pain, being hit when your car is stopped, not being at fault in the accident (or not being aware of impending impact.), having a job with lots of monotonous work — meaning you probably have tight muscles before the accident.
Who Treats Whiplash?
Chiropractors via screening with neurological & orthopedic test, physical exercises, spinal adjustments & manipulations to address improved nervous system function; Physical Therapist via assessments & exercises; M.D.'s via drugs for muscle relaxers & anti-inflammatory.
Will Whiplash go away on its own?
Point One: the more immediate the pain & symptoms are after an incident, the more serious the injury, the poorer the prognosis. Point Two: Slight to mild whiplash trauma symptoms should lessen, given there are no preexisting conditions. With inadequate treatment 20%-50% will have some symptoms one year later. Chiropractic treatments done in a timely fashion, will have a much better outcome as chiropractic manipulation will minimize the scar tissue & the scar tissue which is formed will be more organized & functional.
Treatments for Whiplash?
Initially, having ruled out everything but soft tissue injury, the acute phase, the focus if to decrease the inflammation via the use of therapeutic ultrasound, home use of ice, muscle stimulation modalities , then light manual traction & in the next phase of sub-acute, light, specific adjustments as indicated, slowly introducing range of motion where it is not but should be. And lastly, the phase termed: work hardening with strengthening exercises with the goal of maximum medical improvement.
Why are Whiplash Symptoms Delayed?
If your symptoms are delayed from the time if the insident, this is a good thing, as it indicates that it is a less severe injury. It can take three to four weeks for your body to fully assess your injury.
Are Whiplash & Concussion the Same thing? While a whiplash injury can cause a concussion, they are not the same. A mild concussion can be undiagnosed, any car accident injury evaluation should include the protocol to rule out a concussion.
Whiplash when you are Pregnant?
If you are pregnant & have had any kind of trauma, STOP reading this & seek a professional medical evaluation for the well being of your unborn child!
How Long does take to heal? or Reach Maximum Medical Improvement (or permanent & stationary)
Slight to Mild Whiplash will take several months & 5-10 chiropractic adjustments to resolve.
Moderate, without disc injury; 15-30 chiropractic treatments, 4-6 months.
Moderately Severe with disc injury (non-surgical) 25-35 with an additional 3 months of treatment.
Your healing will continue well past the point where you have reached a plateau of your symptoms at their lowest levels.
What is the Difference of being rear ended while looking straight ahead or looking to the side at the time of impact?
To illustrate this dramatic difference: try this, look straight ahead & how far can your head travel? Now, look to the side & from that position, how far can your head/neck travel backwards? Not much at all! as the joints are already at end range.
IF you are ever stopped & you see that you are about to be rear ended, #1. Look straight ahead. #2. Brace yourself with both hands on the steering wheel. #3. Press firmly on the break (this forces more of the impact energy to be absorbed into the rear of your vehicle & less into you. #4. Do Not let your passengers know as they will want to look, putting their necks in the worst possible position.
Lastly, Whiplash Facts from the Foremost Leader on the Subject: Dr. Arthur Croft DC, MS, MPH, FACO
1. The Currently accepted threshold for injury in a typical rear-impact collision, expressed as a change in Velocity or Delta V is: 5mph.
2. There is no know threshold crash velocity below which no person would or could be injured.
3. Based on all available literature, including clinical & epidemiological occupant risk in rear-impact crashes, the most reliable factors are human factors, such as sex, age awareness of impending collision.
4. Considering the crash environment, the most deterministic of injury in a rear end impact crash are:Head restraint geometry.
5. Hyperextension/hyperflexion injury is a poor choice of terms to use for diagnosing or describing whiplash Because Injury can occur in the absence of hyperextension & or hyperflexion of the neck.
6. The following have been shown to be elevated in a persons having a history of whiplash injury are: Breathing Disorders, Cardiac Disorders, Allergies.
7. In the Data Base: "The National Automotive Sampling System" compiled by the NHTS (National Highway Traffic Safety Admin, reconstructs 5,000 real crashes every year. These are added each year into a growing data base of crashes that one can query, allowing one to conduct qualitative reconstruction by comparing crash damage in these cataloged reconstructed crashes with that of your vehicle model.
8. A prominent disorder among whiplash patients is dizziness. This is most often the result of damage to the Neurological proprioceptive beds in the cervical region.
9. Concussion Grades I, II, III
I. Transient Confusion, NLC - No Loss of Conscience, Symptoms resolve within 15 minutes.
II. Transient Confusion, NLC - No Loss of Conscience, Symptoms resolve longer than 15 minutes.
III. Any Loss of Conscience.