The Risk of Whiplash During an Auto Accident Skip to main content

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The Risk of Whiplash During an Auto Accident

The Risk of Whiplash During an Auto Accident - El Paso Chiropractor

During an automobile accident, neck complications can occur more frequently than any other type of injury and these should be taken very seriously, regardless of the collision’s level of severity. Whiplash, also referred to as neck sprain or neck strain, is one of the most common injuries resulting from a car crash. The sudden force of the impact can stretch and occasionally even tear the muscles and tendons in the neck, leading to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.
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Whiplash and other type of neck injuries can occur from any type of auto accident, especially a rear-end collision. During the abrupt and forceful movement from a car crash, the body goes through an extremely rapid and intense acceleration and deceleration where the individual’s head can move back-and-forth very suddenly and with great force in any direction. As a result, the soft tissues of the neck extend beyond their normal range of motion, damaging and injuring the various structures surrounding the cervical spine.

Neck Pain and Auto Injury

Symptoms of whiplash generally appear within 24 hours following the incident, however, sometimes the symptoms may develop after a few days, weeks, or even months after the automobile accident. Many individuals believe they are not as injured as they really are, that’s why it’s always essential to seek immediate medical attention after being involved in an auto accident in order to determine the presence of an injury or detect the early development of a much serious medical condition.

The most commonly reported symptoms of whiplash include neck pain and discomfort, accompanied by stiffness, headaches, especially at the base of the skull, dizziness, blurred vision and constant fatigue. Other, less common symptoms associated with chronic whiplash include, chronic pain on the neck, shoulder or head, difficulty concentrating or retaining memory, irritability, ringing in the ears and/or inability to get a good night’s rest. Receiving medical attention is crucial after being involved in an auto accident but if the above symptoms spread to the shoulders or arms, if simple head movements are painful or if there is numbness or weakness in the upper extremities, the individual should seek immediate medical attention as these symptoms might suggest a more serious complication.

Chiropractic for Whiplash

Chiropractic care is an effective, alternative treatment option for whiplash. Whiplash not only damages the individual’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments, this type of neck complication can also cause subluxations, or spinal misalignments. With whiplash, the connective tissue surrounding the cervical spine can become irritated and inflamed, stressing the structures of the neck further. A chiropractor will first diagnose the individual to assess the degree of injury and determine the source of their symptoms. Following the diagnosis, the chiropractor will utilize an appropriate series of adjustments and manual manipulations along the spine to gradually correct any spinal misalignments. Furthermore, chiropractic treatment can help prevent muscle stiffness as well as restore the individual’s normal range of motion. A set of stretches and exercises recommended accordingly by a chiropractor may also be used to speed up the recovery process and eliminate any other symptoms associated with whiplash, rehabilitating the individual back to their natural health and wellness.

By Dr. Alex Jimenez

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The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN* email: phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*