Whiplash is a common injury that occurs in automobile collisions. More than 1 million people suffer whiplash injuries each year. About 10% of those end up with chronic pain that affects their daily activities. When a person is in a car accidents, the crash snaps the head forward and backwards very rapidly. Due to the speed at which this happens, the neck goes beyond the normal physiological range of motion. This results in an unpredictable and complex combination of neurological, muscular and soft tissue disruption. Often, these injuries are not simple to diagnose and challenging to treat.
When people get into automobile accidents, the collision forces their neck to snap forward and backwards. However, the issue is further complicated by the healthy habit of wearing seatbelts. Because seatbelts are strapped around one shoulder, this throws an extra twist into the neck which results in causing an abnormal curvature in the neck. A common result of automobile crashes is an “S-shaped curvature.”
In automobile accidents, the seatbelt stops your body and the shoulder restraint and your head continues to travel forward unimpeded. This motion results in a violent forward-bending motion of your neck, which strains the muscles and ligaments. In addition to this, the mechanism of the auto accident tears fibers in the spinal discs and shifts the vertebrae of your spine out of their normal position. The spinal cord and the nerves coming off of it get stressed and irritated. In more severe cases, the brain abruptly hits the inside of your skull which results in brain damage or a concussion. Moreover, for those people who are not wearing a seat-belt, additional damage can occur as the head snaps forward when it hits the windshield or the steering wheel.
Whiplash injuries often result in neck sprain and strain, headaches, shoulder pain, fatigue, and upper back pain. Another factor to keep in mind is that whiplash symptoms often have a delayed onset, and can resurface several months after the injury.
Chiropractors receive training to diagnose and treat many of the injuries that are typically associated with whiplash. We will perform a thorough history and physical examination to establish which injuries are present in your case. We will take x-rays and any other imaging, if necessary. Furthermore, chiropractors provide the treatment for the soft tissues and joints for your specific situation, and teach you proper home care for your injuries. Treatment lasts anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on the severity of injury.
In the state of Minnesota, the No-Fault Law covers your medical expenses up to $20,000, regardless if the automobile collision was your fault or not.
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