5 things you NEED to know about whiplash injuries

Jul 14, 2014 | by: SCC

1.)  Pain is not the only symptom

Although neck, back and shoulder pain is the most common symptom associated with whiplash injury, it is not the only one. Other symptoms might include headaches, nausea, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, difficulty swallowing, and numbness/tingling into the shoulders and hands.

2.)  Injury can occur at speeds less than 5 kmph

Research shows that 29% of people developed symptoms when struck from behind at speeds less than 5 kmph. In addition, a rear impact collision at 10 kmph can translate to 9 Gs of force in your neck! Therefore we need to realize that the speed of the collision does not equal the amount of force translated to the neck.

3.)  During impact the neck loses its natural curve

There is a normal curve in the neck that should ideally measure to be 45 degrees. During a rear-end collision the body is momentarily pushed forward and the chin jerks downward, twisting the neck and cervical spine into an unnatural S-shape. It is believed that this is the point where muscle, tendon, and ligament damage occurs as the body tries to resist these opposing forces.

4.)  X-rays are usually negative for fracture

Most x-rays taken after a whiplash injury are negative for fracture, but this is not the only finding that needs to be considered. A common finding in someone who suffered a whiplash injury is a straightening and loss of the normal cervical curve we mentioned. This can be due to persistent muscle spasm and can cause pain and tension on the spinal cord and nerve roots.


Click HERE to see some of the chiropractic research done on whiplash injuries. 

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