The second most common injury stemming from an auto accident is whiplash / neck pain (according to The Chiropractic Resource Organization). Whiplash is caused when the head is suddenly "whipped" forwards and then backwards which can cause soreness, stiffness and extreme pain. More often than not, a whiplash occurs in a rear-end collision, but can happen in other accidents as well. Sometimes, if the whiplash is extremely violent one can suffer traumatic brain injury. Severe whiplash injuries can cause nerve damage, skull fractures and hematomas.
Did you know that according to the ACA, nearly two-thirds of all auto-accident victims suffer from headaches that are caused directly by whiplash? Because of the violent jerking motion, one's brain literally bounces around inside one's skull which not only causes bruising to the brain, but is also a major cause of headaches. While headaches come in various degrees of severity, headaches caused by whiplash are cause for alarm. Concussions are also common occurrences that stem from whiplash. When one is in a car accident, one should take care before getting out of the vehicle to assess damage or to see if the other party is okay.
Whiplash and neck pain also can be the precursor to other ailments that are directly caused by a motor vehicle accident. Ailments such as pinched nerves can be created by a whiplash injury. When the head snaps back and forth, the nerves at the base of the neck can become damaged and block information flow to and from one's brain. A whiplash injury is considered a personal injury that can also lead to back pain, spinal cord pain, sciatica, slipped discs and other health issues. Whiplash also occurs to athletes in various sports and is also considered a sports-related injury that chiropractors who specialize in sports therapy take seriously when considering a spinal injury.
The chiropractor's assessment of a whiplash injury takes into account all the potential threats that stem from the injury. Is there spinal damage? Does the patient have back pain? Are there any pinched nerves? Does the patient have numbness or a tingling feeling in his body? Any of these scenarios and more are thoroughly checked out by a chiropractor who performs a battery of diagnostic tests (remember, a chiropractor specializes in non-invasive and drug-free treatments). The chiropractor then creates a schedule of visits where the patient then undergoes realignment, massage therapy, and exercises that loosen the tension and relaxes the sore areas to help bring down swelling and lessen the pain of inflamed areas as well.