Whiplash is caused by a motion or force that makes your neck move beyond its normal range of motion. This unnatural or forceful movement affects the muscles and ligaments in the neck, stretching and potentially tearing them. The discs between the vertebrae can also bulge, or rupture, and vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing your range of motion.
A lot of whiplash injuries do come from car accidents, but there are many other possible causes of whiplash. These include:
- A sports injury
- A fall
- Being punched or shaken
The main symptom of whiplash is pain in the neck or upper back but you may also experience other symptoms, such as:
- Shoulder and/or arm pain
- Tenderness and/or stiffness
- Numbness and/or tingling
- Blurred vision
Symptoms can appear straight away, within a few hours or as much as days, weeks or even months after the accident. However, even if you don’t have any immediate pain, you should make a Chiropractic appointment as soon as possible and be assessed.
Even if you just have minor neck pain, it’s important to be examined to determine the extent of your whiplash injury. During your appointment, the doctor of Chiropractic will ask you questions about your injury and general health. Your Chiropractor will also do some general diagnostic exams and tests, all of which is designed to determine what parts of your neck were injured in the accident. Once examined and assessed a treatment plan can be made for you and your chiropractor will work towards finding a way to manage your pain and other symptoms and help you recover as efficiently as possible.
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