An injury to the neck caused by a sudden movement of the head, backward, forward, or sideways, is commonly referred to as “whiplash.” While the term “whiplash” is most frequently used to describe auto accident injuries (in which a person is rear-ended, hit head-on, or hit from the side), whiplash can also frequently occur during ski accidents, bike accidents, falls, blows to the head, and other head/neck traumas.
THE MYTH: “If I don’t have any symptoms right away, I’m O.K.”.
THE TRUTH… After many auto and sport-related traumas, symptoms can be so slight at first, an individual may not realize he/she has been injured. Even if a person feels relatively normal after an accident, he/she should be thoroughly examined. Symptoms can be delayed for days, months, or even years.
COMMON SYMPTOMS: The following are symptoms that can occur following a head/neck injury (days to years later):
- Neck pain and/or stiffness
- Blurred or double vision
- Dizziness / Vertigo
- Pain between the shoulder blades
- Pain in the arms, legs, feet, hands
- Headaches, Migraines
- Low back pain and/or stiffness
- Shoulder pain
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus), Hearing loss
- Numbness and tingling
- Jaw and/or face pain
- Post-concussion syndrome
- and many more!
In many cases, more severe immune-related, neurological, pain, and disease conditions (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Susceptibility to Infection, ADHD, Seizures, Multiple Sclerosis) can result from head/neck injuries, sometimes occurring many years after the accident.
Two million people are exposed to whiplash injury (related to an auto accident) in the U.S. every year.
When the head is suddenly jerked back and forth or side-to-side beyond its normal limits, ligaments supporting the neck vertebrae can be sprained (over-stretched) or torn, forcing vertebrae out of their normal position.
In tests of low speed rear impact collisions, it was reported that the neck can be injured even in slow speeds accidents as low as 5 mph.
Most rear impact accidents occur at crash speeds of 6 to 12 mph – speeds below the threshold for property damage to the vehicle – but sufficient to cause neck injury.
Whiplash injuries to the cervical spine can occur in sports (skiing, hockey, football, cycling, ice skating, gymnastics, boxing), during falls (down a flight of stairs, on an icy sidewalk), and many more!
HOW CAN WE HELP AN ACCIDENT SUFFERER?
If a person (infant, child, or adult) experiences an accident, a proper spinal exam is necessary to assess whether a neck injury occurred. An upper cervical chiropractic specialist uses specialized testing and specific x-rays of the upper neck to accurately assess a neck injury. If a neck injury is found, a specific adjustment is used to correct the injured vertebrae. Correction of the neck injury can improve, reverse, and prevent numerous whiplash symptoms.
Dr. John Pairmore and Dr. Dennis Young of Pairmore and Young Synergy Chiropractic, in Anchorage, Alaska have 44 years of combined clinical experience. Their anchorage chiropractic clinic is the only office in Alaska that has the specialized Atlas Orthogonal Adjusting Instrument. Dr. Pairmore and Young also serve Fairbanks, Wasilla, and Eagle River along with the entire state of Alaska. They are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraines and other headaches, whiplash and other neck injuries, chronic back pain, sciatica and more. Learn more about Our Team.