How many of you have heard someone say they have “whiplash” from a fall or crash? We hear it quite often and never really question it do we? Whiplash is not a diagnosis and never has been, but unfortunately, medical doctors and chiropractors are telling patients they have it as a result of the fall or crash. Here is the thing, what does it tell us about the patient? Do we know what was injured? Was it bone, muscle, ligaments or all of the above?
Whiplash: What is it?
According to Mayo Clinic, “Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash most often occurs during a rear-end auto accident, but the injury can also result from a sports accident, physical abuse or other trauma.” Whiplash is only useful in letting the physician know mechanism of injury. When a physician combines the mechanism of injury such as whiplash with the examination findings it will better point to the likely injured tissues. This is extremely important to get right as different tissues have different healing rates. For example, when someone strains a muscle in the cervical spine such as the Levator scapulae it likely will resolve in 4-6 days with little complications. On the contrary, when someone sprains or even tears a ligament in the upper cervical spine after a car crash it will take months to possibly years before the tissues can heal. Unfortunately with ligaments, if the tear is severe enough it may never heal and will cause chronic pain.
So now that we have an understanding whiplash should never be given as a diagnosis it makes it even more important for those who have been in a whiplash associated injury be assessed by a trained health care provider. Many Chiropractors have specialized training in identifying these injuries and treating them. Unfortunately there are many more that have no idea how to find them, let alone treat them.
Recent research shows about 50% of those who have whiplash-associated injuries will not recover. That means these people will never be the same causing them more pain and suffering for the rest of their life. Here at Live Aligned, we are an office equipped to help these type of injuries. Schedule today and mention this blog to receive a complimentary consultation.
- Previous neck pain
- Head position at time of injury
- Did you have a normal neck curve prior to injury? (Confirmed with Xray only)
- Rear end impact vs side impact
- Aware of impending crash (braced yourself)
Learn more about our Whiplash Treatments.