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What Happens When You Get Whiplash?

Woman grabbing neck.

Neck pain out of nowhere? Whiplash isn’t just caused by motor vehicle accidents–a fall or athletic injury can also cause it.

Who knew a fun day at the amusement park could result in a whiplash injury?

When they hear the word, “whiplash,” most people immediately picture a rear-end motor vehicle accident.   Most often, that is the injury that occurs in that kind of accident.    There are over 30,000 motor vehicle accidents each year here in Massachusetts.

But there are other ways that whiplash injuries can occur, including:

  • Assault, such as being punched or shaken
  • Roller coaster rides
  • Sports, especially football, hockey or boxing
  • Falls

A whiplash injury occurs when the cervical spine (neck) is injured by a force which moves the spine in ways it was not designed to move.

The joints in the neck are most commonly injured.  However the discs between the vertebrae, along with their associated muscles, tendons and ligaments can be stretched or torn, resulting in symptoms such as:

  • Neck pain, stiffness or tenderness
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Muscle spasms
  • Irritability and memory loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears

How Chiropractic Can Help with Whiplash Injuries

These symptoms and related pain can show up immediately or up to 72 hours or longer after the impact that caused the whiplash injury. And the pain and discomfort can last for months, years or can become chronic and affect you your entire life.   The research shows that approximately 50% of whiplash victims end up in chronic pain.

The worst thing to do after one of these injuries is downplaying the extent of their injuries initially after an accident.  This can cause serious problems later on as most of the injury is to the disc and facet joints.

The goal of chiropractic care is to return neck joints affected by whiplash to their normal position to relieve stress on affected nerves and strain on affected muscles. Know someone who might benefit from our care? Contact our chiropractic office in Boston today.

I am a whiplash injury expert here in Boston and have written a book about motor vehicle injuries which has been very warmly received by readers and other whiplash experts called After the Car Crash.

The most important aspect of these injuries is that the sooner you address them, the better they heal.   If you or your friends and family get into an accident, make sure they get checked out immediately.

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