Sometimes it doesn’t matter how fast you’re going at the time of an automobile collision. The energy transferred to your body combined with human physiology can cause serious injury even from a minor fender bender. The usual resulting injury is whiplash, which isn’t a specific type of damage, but rather a range of soft tissue injuries that result from the top-heavy nature of the human skull and the sudden transfer of force.
Complicating things further, whiplash injuries may not be apparent immediately after an accident. There are several reasons for this. First, the nature of a collision invokes your body’s fight-or-flight response. Adrenaline and endorphins combine to create a chemical state that aids your ability to cope with danger. Part of that response is the masking of pain resulting from injury.
Secondly, the collision can cause misalignment and imbalance in your musculoskeletal system. Irritations resulting from these changes may take time to result in pain. This could be delayed several days after the accident.
Symptoms of whiplash
Any case of whiplash has the potential to combine multiple symptoms into a mix that’s unique to you, and also unique to a particular accident. The most common symptoms are typically:
- Pain and stiffness in the neck
- Loss of motion in the neck
- Pain that intensifies with motion
- Shoulder pain and stiffness that may extend to the arms and upper back
- Numbness and tingling sensations
- Headaches originating at the base of the skull
- Dizziness and nausea
- Feelings of fatigue
Some symptoms are associated with whiplash but happen less frequently. These include:
- Memory and concentration problems
- Mood changes and depression
- Hearing issues, typically tinnitus, also known as ringing in the ears
- Vision problems such as blurry or double vision
- Disrupted sleep patterns
The benefits of chiropractic care for whiplash
Every case of whiplash is different, and severe injuries may require extensive medical testing to determine specific conditions and develop treatment plans. Chiropractic care, however, is based on restoring alignment and balance to your body naturally. This offers some big advantages for whiplash treatment.
Because of the force of impact and the resulting whipping motion of the head and neck, joints can be jarred out of alignment, taking with them the normal positioning of soft tissue. Muscles typically at rest may now have to contract to hold your body in normal position. Nerves and blood vessels that were unrestricted prior to the collision could now be pressed against neighboring tissue, resulting in nerve irritation and compromised blood flow.
When restoring natural alignment, a chiropractic adjustment eases these pressures and irritation, quite literally putting the pieces back in place. While you may feel instant relief during an adjustment, the real benefit is the release of nerve tissue and improved blood flow. Restoring these is critical to aid your body’s natural healing process. Chiropractic care is less about “fixing” whiplash damage than it is to assure your body can heal itself.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, scheduling a visit to Advantage Spinal Dynamics is the smart choice, even if whiplash symptoms haven’t yet emerged. Call or click today to arrange your post-collision care.