Taking a Closer Look at Whiplash
The term ‘whiplash’ is thrown around all the time, but do you know what it really is?
According to the American Chiropractic Association, “Whiplash is a generic term applied to injuries of the neck caused when the neck is suddenly and/or violently jolted in one direction and then another, creating a whip-like movement. Whiplash is most commonly seen in people involved in motor vehicle accidents, but it can also occur from falls, sports injuries, work injuries, and other incidents.”
Whiplash injuries most often result in sprain-strain of the neck. The ligaments that help support, protect, and restrict excessive movement of the vertebrae are torn, which is called a sprain.
Symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. However, people who experience whiplash may develop one or more of the following:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
- Low back pain
- Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue
While ice and/or heat are often used to help control pain and reduce the muscle spasm that results from whiplash injuries, spinal manipulation and/or mobilization provided by a chiropractor can also give relief in many cases of neck pain.
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