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Car accidents are unfortunate but extremely common occurrences, and even minor fender benders at low speeds can result in traumatic injuries such as whiplash. If you’ve ever been in a car crash, you may experience certain levels of strain in your neck muscles and the soft tissue surrounding that area. The strained feeling of that area following a car crash is known as whiplash, and this type of injury can limit the range of motion in your neck significantly. When a vehicle is hit from the side or the rear during a collision, the force of the crash can result in a sharp jerking movement of your head and neck. Even if you don’t feel like it’s a major issue, it’s essential to not ignore any whiplash-related injuries and visit a medical provider, who may recommend that you see a chiropractor for treatment. Timely and effective therapeutic care is the best defense against lasting whiplash symptoms. Whiplash symptoms may be instant, or take days or even weeks before you feel anything. This is why you should always visit a medical provider following a car crash and also get chiropractic care for your whiplash symptoms.
Symptoms Of Whiplash
The symptoms of whiplash may be felt instantaneously after the accident occurs, but may also take several days or weeks before they appear. Some common whiplash symptoms include:
- Upper back pain
- Loss of mobility in the neck and/or shoulders
Whiplash is a term commonly used to describe neck injuries resulting from sudden, violent impact. During a traumatic collision, your head is violently thrown backwards to the side, and your vertebrae, ligaments, and muscles may all be damaged from the force of the sudden jerking motion.
Why Your Headrest Is Important
The U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and consumer reports show that there have been significant leaps and bounds made in the efficacy of headrests to help prevent whiplash-related injuries in a car crash. However, nearly half of all cars manufactured before 2006 had headrests that were rated poorly by the IIHS for preventing whiplash. Many people may not be aware of this fact, but your car’s headrest plays a significant role in protecting you from whiplash. To decrease your risk of whiplash in case of an accident, you should make sure to follow these rules with your headrest:
- Make sure your headrest reaches at least as high as the top of your ears
- Your headrest shouldn’t be more than four inches (10cms) away from where the back of your head is
Whiplash Isn’t Just Caused By Car Crashes
While car accidents are probably the most common cause of whiplash injuries, they aren’t the sole culprit; other blunt force and quick traumatic collisions such as being aggressively tackled playing football, falling down stairs, or slamming into a wall can also result in a nasty case of whiplash. Luckily, the majority of whiplash injuries aren’t too serious and will heal fully as time goes on with the appropriate care.
A Healthy Neck Protects Against Whiplash
Chiropractic care is one of the most effective treatments for whiplash as chiropractors can perform adjustments to realign your spine and relax tension in your muscles. Call Jimenez Chiropractic to schedule an appointment with an experienced chiropractor today!