You’re in your car, relaxed, waiting at a stoplight. Suddenly you hear a screeching of tires behind you and the harsh sound of metal hitting metal. Before you can brace yourself, you feel your car moving forward from some unseen force! You’ve been rear-ended.
What happens in these few seconds can have tragic consequences. And what you do about it in the next hours, days and weeks can forever affect your health.
Upon impact, your body pushes deeply into your seat. Your head, momentarily isolated by your neck, delays its reaction while your body quickly reaches the limits of your seat.
Then, your body instantly changes directions, moving forward to the limits of your seat belt. Now, your head starts moving backward in the opposite direction! Unrestrained by a seat belt your head is jerked back and then forward beyond its normal limits. Everything seems to be happening in slow motion, yet you are unable to stop your head from whipping backward and then forward.
Don’t minimize your own injuries because your car has sustained little or no damage. An immediate chiropractic examination is essential. Pain pills won’t heal inflamed tendons and ligaments. Muscle relaxers won’t heal torn muscles. A cervical collar won’t restore a graceful forward spinal curve.
Specific chiropractic spinal adjustments, because they can help restore proper motion and position of individual spinal bones, can help assure proper healing. Chiropractic doctors can help you get well and stay well after the trauma of a whiplash injury.
Why do I have pain in my arms and hands?
Because the nerves to the arms and hands exit the spine through the injured area of the neck, numbness and tingling are common. Even lower back pain can result directly from the trauma or as a reaction to the loss of proper spinal curves.
Why did my headaches start more than a week after my accident?
Whether you’ve been in an accident, stressed at work or overexerted yourself in the garden, your body is constantly adapting to the environment. When your capacity to adapt is exhausted, symptoms can appear. This can take days, weeks, months or years to occur.
Will I ever be normal again?
Many chiropractic patients report restored spinal curves and an end to their symptoms. Those who delay seeking appropriate care often discover that scar tissue and spinal instability require periodic chiropractic checkups.
How can I prevent whiplash injuries?
Since car accidents are the major cause of acceleration/deceleration injuries, defensive driving skills can help. Be sure your taillights and turn signals are properly working. Allow enough stopping distance in front of you. When you slow down or stop, always check your rear view mirror to see if the driver behind you is paying attention.