Whiplash Injury In Caledonia- Myths and Truths
Did you know that a car’s speed of impact does not predict the risk of whiplash injury?
Any accident, even a fender bender can cause serious conditions because of the whiplash affect on the neck and spinal cord.
For example, a person’s position during a collision can play a role even at low speeds. Patients who have their head turned to one side during a low speed motor vehicle accident are less likely to develop whiplash.
Because of these factors it is important to be examined even after a smaller car accident.
And are you aware that pain might not surface until years after a whiplash accident?
What happened today to cause this pain in my neck? Patients assume that past events, such as a motor vehicle accident injury are irrelevant to current pain. But your Chiropractor at Caledonia Family Chiropractic points out that nothing could be further from the truth.
Pain can develop months or years after any accident and this phenomenon is referred to as delayed onset whiplash associated disorder.
Vertebral subluxations play a large role in why the neck pain occurs years after an injury to the neck like this. If left unchecked these small and often unnoticeable spinal changes can worsen over the years, delaying your healing, increasing pain and setting the stage for a myriad of health challenges.
That’s why doctors of chiropractic take a proactive approach to motor vehicle accident injuries – one that works to address the underlying problem before other problems occur in the future. Through chiropractic adjustments – specialized and specific maneuvers – doctors of chiropractic correct vertebral subluxations. Detecting and caring for vertebral subluxations soon after these injuries dramatically decreases the risk of immediate and future problems.
Research has shown that WAD injuries can dramatically impact your health in the future. Whiplash sufferers were examined three years after their accidents. More than 11 percent reported that injury symptoms had significantly deteriorated their health. Neck pain was the most common problem. Their health was worse three years after the injury than just one year later. Whiplash injuries in Finland: the situation 3 years later
In a 2016 study on Meniere’s Disease patients it was found that they all had previous trauma to the neck and head, with the majority of them being 15 years previous to the onset of the vertigo/dizziness associated with the Meniere’s disease! Check out that blog here.
Myth – Whiplash accidents only affect the neck:
Beyond the Neck & Spine
Cognitive, emotional and nervous system problems may also stem from a whiplash injury.
Compared with healthy individuals, patients with whiplash performed much poorer on all tests – especially on assessments measuring memory and verbal reaction time.
Whiplash (or WAD) patients reported increased pain during all of the tests. Pain intensity directly predicted verbal reaction time: The more pain patients had, the more time they needed to answer verbal questions.
“The findings support the hypothesis that pain might be one important factor leading to cognitive impairment in patients with chronic whiplash,” the authors conclude
Correcting whiplash injuries fast is vital to health and mental clarity. Doctors of chiropractic view the pain as the body’s “last ditch” attempt at signaling distress. Visiting your Caledonia chiropractor soon after any whiplash accident to eliminate vertebral subluxations will help minor pain from swiftly becoming major. And, if you have ever been in a motor vehicle collision, even one that occurred years ago, it’s vital to schedule a chiropractic evaluation in order to ward off any stealthy degeneration.
Posture & nervous System Problems
Chiropractors know that, because it triggers vertebral subluxations, whiplash may not just torment the back and neck, but may eventually plague the whole body.
That’s why chiropractors weren’t surprised by research suggesting that whiplash injuries disturb posture and balance, which may indicate a problem in the central nervous system.
Patients with chronic neck pain, in particular those with whiplash, had worse posture and more trouble balancing, compared with healthy controls.
VERTICAL POSTURE AND HEAD STABILITY IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC NECK PAIN
Fortunately, doctors of chiropractic excel at correcting vertebral subluxations and related posture and balance problems, downsizing whiplash’s ability to harm.
Chiropractic Care Works
At our chiropractic office in Caledonia, we have many years of experience helping people suffering after accidents. We find that those who proactively address the mechanics of their spine and allow their neck to heal properly, do better than those who ignore their pain. Your health is worth addressing the problem.
Review of Research Article on the Biomechanics of Neck Injuries Resulting from Rear-End Collisions
Biomechanics of Neck Injuries Resulting from Rear-End Vehicle Collisions
Below are key points from a 2014 research article regarding rear-end vehicle collisions leading to neck injuries. It highlights some interesting points that I see clinically in my Chiropractic practice in Caledonia. These points may also spark your curiosity regarding your knowledge of neck injuries due to whiplash like accidents:
“Whiplash injuries can cause long term neck pain and limitation of movement.”
-This is an obvious one for our patients. Fortunately for our chiropractic patients, we see that our patients who regularly take care of their necks recover quickly when compared to patients who don’t look after their necks.
“Even low-speed rear-end collisions may generate substantial forces and result in significant injuries.”
“8 km/h is the threshold value for whiplash injuries caused by rear-end collisions. Whiplash injuries start with the speed value of 8km/h, and their severity increases accordingly as the level of speed increases.”
“Whiplash injuries are unavoidable in rear-end accidents that generated at least 7 g acceleration.”
-This is surprising for many people as they assume that the slow fender benders that hardly damage their car has no impact on their body. However, months later the person can be suffering from headaches and neck pain that “came out of nowhere”. Even after “small” accidents it is important to look after your neck so that it has an opportunity to recover from the effects of the “whip”.
“According to statistical data, the speed of the impact, the headrest of the seat, the position of the passenger, the material of the seat and the design of the seat all affect the intensity of whiplash injuries.”
“An important injury prevention factor is the seat’s headrest. Most head restraints are not adjusted to effectively prevent injury.”
“The distance between the headrest and the head plays a vital role in influencing a whiplash injury.”
“Head rests can mitigate whiplash soft tissue injuries, but ideally they should be less than ¼ inch behind the head, and should not be greater than ½ inch behind the head.”
-Your headrest should be as close to your head as possible to minimize the impact that a rear-end collision will have on your neck.
Is there evidence for chiropractic care of whiplash injuries?
Are manual therapies, passive physical modalities, or acupuncture effective for the management of patients with whiplash-associated disorders or neck pain and associated disorders? An update of the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders by the OPTIMa collaboration.
This is a 2016 update on research in the Journal Spine regarding whiplash injuries. The research refers to these whiplash injuries that often occur in car accidents as whiplash-associated disorders or WAD. Chiropractic adjustments are referred to as manipulations in this research.
The conclusion highlights that:
“Our review adds new evidence to the Neck Pain Task Force and suggests that mobilization, manipulation, and clinical massage are effective interventions for the management of neck pain. It also suggests that electroacupuncture, strain-counterstrain, relaxation massage, and some passive physical modalities (heat, cold, diathermy, hydrotherapy, and ultrasound) are not effective and should not be used to manage neck pain.”