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Whiplash-Associated Disorders & Ligament Complications

Whiplash-Associated Disorders & Ligament Complications - El Paso Chiropractor

After being involved in an automobile accident, the irritating pain and stiffness in the neck which affects many individuals at the time of the collision, could have longer lasting effects than many anticipate. Whiplash is the most frequent result of a car crash, although it may occur during a variety of other incidents. Nevertheless, this common neck injury can lead to significant complications on the surrounding, complex tissues of the neck, if left untreated.
cervical x ray of neck lateral view
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Whiplash occurs when the muscles and ligaments of the neck stretch further than their average range of motion. While symptoms of neck injury may not occur instantly, it’s essential to keep a close watch over any physical changes which may result following the accident and seek medical attention as soon as possible to properly diagnose the presence of any other spinal complications. Although whiplash is considered a relatively mild condition, it can cause long-term pain and discomfort.

During an auto collision, the sudden force of the impact causes an individual’s head to abruptly move back-and-forth in any direction, depending on the type of car crash. The rapid flexion and extension of the neck pulls and extends the muscles, straining the soft tissues around the cervical spine, occasionally causing them to tear.

Weakened Ligaments after Whiplash

After several years of research, it’s evident that the spinal ligaments can be stretched and/or torn during an automobile accident. Prior research has shown that the anterior longitudinal ligaments, the transverse ligaments, and the facet capsules, found within the neck, can be damaged or injured even in minor crashes.

Whiplash Research & Results

New research from Yale University pursued to understand the exact nature of whiplash-type injuries to determine its effect on the human body. Researchers conducted the study by evaluating six cadaver spines which had previously been exposed to simulated rear-end collisions. The spines were then carefully examined to closely analyze the damage of each of the individual ligaments. The researchers then compared the state of the whiplash spinal ligaments to the formerly collected data of normal, non-injured spines.

The authors of the research distinguished a variety of characteristics from the whiplash-exposed ligaments apart from those of the control ligaments. Ultimately, the authors found that the ligaments exposed to damage or injury from whiplash were in fact significantly weaker than the control specimens. Throughout the study, researchers observed considerable decreases in ligament strength following whiplash, supporting the ligament-injury hypothesis of whiplash syndrome. According to the study, evidence suggests that the weakening of the ligaments resulting from auto injuries may furthermore lead to altered joint motion, leading to compression of the joint tissues. This compression is frequently what leads to inflammation, pain, and accelerated degeneration of the joint tissue, resulting in osteoarthritis of the neck and other complications.

This study is the first to show that the individual ligaments of the spine are weakened after a whiplash-type injury. After being involved in an automobile accident, the debilitating and impairing symptoms associated with neck injury can alter an individual’s lifestyle, especially if the condition is left untreated and the symptoms worsen.

Chiropractic care is an effective, alternative treatment option commonly used to treat whiplash-associated disorders. Once diagnosed with neck injury, the individual will usually receive a series of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, together with a set of appropriate stretches and exercises, focusing to rehabilitate and restore the original state of the injured structures within the neck. Time and patience is essential towards achieving a complete recovery from a variety of automobile injuries through chiropractic care.

Chiropractic Care & CrossFit for Overall Health: A Client’s Story

Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, has helped many individuals experiencing injuries, conditions or simply looking to improve their overall health. Ever since participating in the Push-as-Rx ®™ system in Dr. Jimenez’s clinic, Bill Skov has felt much more capable with his everyday activities and has learned to enjoy life much more. Bill Skov has lost weight and gained strength and stamina. Push as Rx means a lot to Mr. Skov and the relationships he's had with all the trainers, together with their support, has encouraged him to push through with a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Alex Jimenez’s clinic and PUSH-as-Rx ®™ system is leading the field with laser focus supporting our youth sport programs.  The PUSH-as-Rx ®™ System is a sport specific athletic program designed by a strength-agility coach and physiology doctor with a combined 40 years of experience working with extreme athletes. At its core, the program is the multidisciplinary study of reactive agility, body mechanics and extreme motion dynamics. Through continuous and detailed assessments of the athletes in motion and while under direct supervised stress loads, a clear quantitative picture of body dynamics emerges. Exposure to the biomechanical vulnerabilities are presented to our team.  Immediately, we adjust our methods for our athletes in order to optimize performance.  This highly adaptive system with continual dynamic adjustments has helped many of our athletes come back faster, stronger, and ready post injury while safely minimizing recovery times. Results demonstrate clear improved agility, speed, decreased reaction time with greatly improved postural-torque mechanics.  PUSH-as-Rx ®™ offers specialized extreme performance enhancements to our athletes no matter the age.

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: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*