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What Happens to the Neck in a Whiplash Injury?

What Happens to the Neck in a Whiplash Injury?


What Happens to the Neck in a Whiplash Injury?

Many people have probably heard of the term "whiplash" however;, most don't have a concrete understanding of what a whiplash is or exactly how it impacts the body if you happen to incur one. Probably the most common cause of a person suffering from whiplash is due to being involved in an auto accident. If you're one of those people, don't worry because after reading this article, you'll have a clear definition of what whiplash is.

To understand what whiplash is, you first must gain a solid grip on spinal anatomy. When in perfect condition, your spine should be completely straight from front to back. In between each spinal bone, there are what are known as discs; discs act similarly to shock absorbers allowing your body to handle the forces of gravity appropriately when involved in an auto accident.

When looking at the human anatomy from a side angle, your spine should always have a forward curve in the neck, backward curve in the mid-back, and a forward curve in the lower back. When you're involved in a car accident, your vehicle should show signs of damage, as this is a sign that not all of the direct impact of the crash was transferred to you.

How To Diagnose Whiplash

If you were involved in an auto accident and suffered little not to damage your vehicle, all of the direct gravitational forces were directly transferred to your body. Since you are in a stationary position when driving, think of it as being hit with big balloon bag on your back while you stand in place, in this scenario, it would be hard for you to maintain balance without falling.

The same scenario can be used to get an accurate view of how your spine reacts during a car accident. The amount of force applied to your stationary body during an auto accident will cause your head to whip in a backward motion. This is known as hyperextension, which leads to compression in the back of the spine.

The back of your spine has other anatomy, such as spinous processes and joints, which will also be impacted by the collision force. This chain reaction of events creates what is known as hyperflexion, which will mostly jam up your neck muscles while stretching out your back.

Available Treatment Options

All of the variables mentioned above are what create the conditions for whiplash to occur. The best way to resolve any issues you're facing as a result of whiplash is to see a reputable chiropractor nearest you. Chiropractors are trained in muscular-skeletal and neuro-muscular rehabilitation/therapy, so they can provide you with sustained support throughout the corrective, therapeutic, and strengthening stages of your healing process.

You should avoid seeing your primary care doctor after being involved in an accident as they are not equipped to handle whiplash injuries correctly. While painkillers may be an attractive option, they do not provide the recuperative help needed to repair your muscles, which can take weeks, months, or in some cases years.

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