Car Accidents and Whiplash: What You Need to Know

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Car accidents are common and can cause a myriad of injuries. One common one is whiplash, and it causes damage to the neck. Some people consider whiplash to be a minor issue, but if a crash victim is not treated for whiplash after an accident, there is a good chance he or she will experience chronic neck pain over a lifetime.

The good news is that most cases of whiplash are not difficult to treat, and if someone seeks help right after an accident, symptoms should disappear within a few weeks. If you have been in an accident, you should seek a car accident doctor in New York immediately to get an exam and any necessary treatment to prevent future problems.

What Whiplash Is

Whiplash occurs when the head is jolted back and forth violently. This, in turn, causes injuries to the soft tissues in the neck, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It can also cause spinal bones in the neck to misalign, which puts pressure on the nerves. 

Causes of Whiplash

Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash, but there are other things that can cause it as well. This includes contact sports, a fall off a horse or bike, physical abuse, and assault. Many people think that, in regard to car crashes, it takes a major collision to cause whiplash, but that is not the case. Most whiplash cases occur in minor rear-end accidents, with speeds of 12 mph or less. 

Whiplash Prevalence and Facts

There are over 3 million new cases of whiplash every year. It is more common for women to get whiplash, and it occurs most often in those who are between the ages of 30 and 50. Without treatment, more than 50% of cases will result in chronic issues, and those who have had past untreated whiplash injuries tend to have worse and longer-lasting symptoms. 

Symptoms of Whiplash

Some of the more immediate symptoms of whiplash include headache, neck soreness, and decreased range of motion in the neck. 

Long term effects may include:

  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Dizziness
  • Jaw pain
  • Severe headaches
  • Upper and lower back pain
  • Tingling and numbness of the fingers and hands
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble concentrating

Whiplash symptoms often take a little while, from hours to days, to appear. This is one of the reasons why crash victims may not seek treatment. Even if the symptoms disappear on their own, the underlying tissue damage is still there, which is why seeking treatment is imperative. 

Treatment for Whiplash

Although the medical model has some options for symptom relief from a whiplash injury, they do not fix the cause of the problem, which is why going to a chiropractor is the best choice. A chiropractor will perform a thorough exam of the neck and spine and may take X-rays to see the structure and alignment of the spinal bones. 

Treatment for whiplash often includes chiropractic adjustments, which move the spine back into its proper position and take pressure off the nerves, and complementary modalities. These may include massage therapy, laser treatment, muscle stimulation, and stabilization exercises.

Going to a chiropractor can reduce the longevity and severity of symptoms and fix underlying problems so there are not chronic issues.

Seek Help for Whiplash

If you have been in a car accident and are experiencing any symptoms, it is time to seek treatment. Whether you are looking for a car accident doctor in New Jersey or New York, Accident Help Zone can find a doctor in your area that is experienced with working with accident victims. Contact them today so you can begin to heal.