Cars today are designed with rubberized, plastic bumpers that are spring loaded to reduce the high cost of car repairs. Fender benders that used to cost $3,000 now only leave a $500 paint scratch! The problem is that @ 2/3rds of accidents are rear-enders, which causes a plastic deformation then spring loads the struck car forward. Even low impacts create a hyper-extension of the neck... loading into the seatback then the seat rebounds forward. As the body springs forward, the seatbelt locks keeping the body from striking the steering wheel. This is when that 12 lbs. "bowling ball" head hyper-flexes causing the "Whiplash" effect.
Many times the symptoms are delayed and the fear of damage to your car supersedes the care to this Sprain and Strain to your cervical spinal tissues. Whiplash injuries happen so quickly that normal reflexes can not protect the shearing forces that do not get attention, especially because most people want to go home and rest and take pain meds that a family member gives them... instead of the pain of waiting at Urgent Care for 3 hours just to get prescribed 800mg of Motrin!
Common symptoms to look for:
1) Neck and upper back pain and stiffness extending into shoulders and arms
2) Headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and nausea
Most significant findings in 5 year studies are a reversal of the cervical spine and beginning stages of early degenerative changes. This is why you need to seek a Chiropractor that specializes in spinal trauma to reduce inflammation and mobilize specific vertebrae and strengthen unstable joints with rehab and continue daily home treatments so these injuries do not become a chronic problem in the future.
Call me to schedule a consultation and exam to determine the extent of your injuries... or if your accident was 20 years ago and did not receive proper treatment... there are still exercises you can perform if you are developing progressive symptoms.
Dr. Brad Thompson D.C.
Old Town Chiropractic
(619) 297-9355 (WELL)