There is more than one way you can experience a whiplash. The most common ways include but are not limited to motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries and accidental falls. A whiplash is a nonmedical term used to describe neck pain following an injury to the soft tissues of your neck (specifically ligaments, tendons, and muscles). It is caused by an abnormal motion or force applied to your neck that causes movement beyond the neck’s normal range of motion.
You would think in an auto accident that a whiplash would only occur when driving at a high rate of speed. However, it only takes speeds as low as 5 mph to produce enough energy to cause a whiplash regardless of whether the occupant is wearing a seat belt or not. In fact being hit from behind creates as much force as a 10 pound bag of sand being dropped from a third story building onto your head!
Symptomatically, a whiplash is not just “pain in the neck.” It can also include headaches, dizziness, pain shooting into the arms and shoulder blades, tenderness and swelling in the neck. Once you feel these symptoms or pain you can seek help from a doctor of chiropractic. The appropriate chiropractic treatment is unique to each patient’s injury. In addition to his or her whiplash treatment plan, the doctor of chiropractic may refer you to another health professional, such as a medical specialist, if deemed appropriate.