The Deceiving Nature of Whiplash
The traffic light ahead turns red. You bring your vehicle to a stop. Then BANG! Your head snaps forward then backward. Your car is hurtled a foot into the intersection. You realize almost immediately what just happened. Your vehicle was rear ended. Other than being startled by the event, you’re okay… or are you?Despite feeling fine, you may have just received a common and sometimes serious injury: whiplash. Your chiropractor can tell you that it’s often a deceiving injury.
When your vehicle is rear ended, your neck can get stretched beyond its natural range of motion. Whiplash can occur at speeds as low as 5 mph. You may feel pain quickly or you may not develop symptoms for several hours, weeks, or months. Your neck (cervical spine) contains muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs, joints and nerves confined to a relatively small area. And whiplash can injure all these body components.
Although it happens most frequently in rear-end vehicle collisions, whiplash can occur in other situations – especially in the sports of football, gymnastics, boxing and contact martial arts.
Besides the neck and upper back, pain from a whiplash may extend into other areas of the body, such as the arms and shoulders. You may also suffer muscle stiffness, burning or tingling sensations as well as headaches and numbness. Even if you don’t have any immediate whiplash symptoms, you should visit your chiropractor as soon as possible.