In our recent blog post, we began looking at whiplash injuries, what whiplash is, the symptoms of whiplash, and some important facts about this common neck injury. As we mentioned, whiplash is the number one auto-related injury that may cause acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) pain, and may impair movement, range of motion, and function of the neck, upper back, shoulders, and arms. As Old Man Winter knocks on our door here in Littleton, the risk for rear-end collisions and car accidents increases during snowy weather and icy road conditions. Therefore, we will continue exploring more of the important things to know about whiplash in today’s post. Please read below to learn more.
Whiplash May Affect Women and Children More Than Men
Some studies show that women are more susceptible to whiplash injuries when involved in a rear-end collision. One study suggests that women tend to sit higher up in their seats and closer to their steering wheels when compared to men. Often times, the shoulder harness may not be situated properly, which can impact the severity of their neck injury. Children, on the other hand, may suffer more severe whiplash injuries because their muscles and ligaments are still developing, meaning they may not be as strong as an adult’s. Additionally, the position of the child’s head is important when riding in a car, and if a child’s headrest position is not at the right height, the whiplash injury may be more severe.
Therefore, it’s important to position yourself and your child properly. When driving, sit with your back upright against the seat back with your hips settled all the way back in the seat. Adjust the seat belt harness to fit your body and height; ideally, the shoulder strap should cross the body at the collarbone. Always secure children properly in the appropriate car seat for their age group to ensure their head is secure. Make sure to have your chiropractor at Arne Wellness examine your child for whiplash symptoms if they are involved in a car accident.
Whiplash Doesn’t Only Occur from a Rear End Collision
While most common whiplash injury results from the neck and head whipping forward then backward, whiplash may occur from a front end collision, as well as a side collision. Basically, any time the neck muscles and ligaments are thrown into hyperextension or hyperflexion in a swift, rapid motion, the neck and shoulders are susceptible to whiplash. Whiplash can also occur from a side collision that forces the neck to whip laterally or bilaterally. This type of whiplash injury can affect the shoulders and upper to mid back, as well.
Age and Whiplash Injury
Age plays an important role in the severity of a whiplash injury. For seniors in the Littleton community who may already have neck issues related to arthritis, osteoporosis, or disc degeneration, they are more susceptible to a neck and back injury. A minor or severe whiplash injury could exacerbate a pre-existing condition, which is why it is crucial to see a chiropractor immediately after an auto accident.
Don’t Avoid Whiplash Symptoms
Most who are involved in a car accident will most likely experience neck pain afterward. In some cases, it is not necessarily whiplash, however, more times than not, a neck injury, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is probably a form of whiplash. Therefore, ignoring the symptoms of whiplash can lead to chronic neck and upper back issues in the future. To avoid this, it’s best to come in and see us so our chiropractor, Dr. Arne, can evaluate your injuries and determine the best chiropractic treatment plan for you. During an exam, Dr. Arne will go over your medical history with you and any pre-existing conditions, and may request imaging such as x-rays and MRIs. Your treatment plan may include chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, natural medicine, and stretches and exercises you can do at home to improve range of motion, increase movement and function, and reduce pain to help you heal from your whiplash injury.
If you are experiencing neck, upper back, or shoulder pain after experiencing a car accident, contact Arne Wellness Center for a chiropractic evaluation. Our experienced car accident chiropractor and wellness team in Littleton have been treating auto-related injuries for decades, and we can help treat your neck injury after a car accident. Give our office a call today and let us help you heal.