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Posted on 05-30-2014

Whiplash Symptoms May Be Slight at First

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
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness / Vertigo
  • Pain between the shoulder blades
  • Pain in the arms, legs, feet, hands
  • Headaches, Migraines
  • Low back pain and/or stiffness
  • Shoulder pain
  • Nausea
  • 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.

WHIPLASH FACTS

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 NUCCA 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 NUCCA 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 by hand is used to correct the injured vertebrae. Correction of the neck injury can improve, reverse, and prevent numerous whiplash symptoms.

To find an upper cervical chiropractor in your area go to www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.com. If you are in the Seattle area click here to schedule an evaluation.

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Dr. Reanna Plancich of Discover Health Chiropractic in Seattle, Washington is an Upper Cervical Chiropractor trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Her upper cervical clinic also serves the Northwest Seattle area of University District, Wallingford, Wedgwood, Montlake and Capital Hill. She is 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, fibromyalgia, vertigo, whiplash and auto injuries. More information can be found on her website at http://www.discoverchiropracticinseattle.com/

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