Understanding Whiplash Injuries from High-Impact Collisions

Senior male patient grimacing with neck pain
Senior male patient grimacing with neck pain

When a high-impact collision occurs, whiplash is a common injury type. Why is this the case? What injuries are likely to occur in a high-impact collision, whether it is from a car accident, a sports injury, or something else? Is there any way to get help so that post-whiplash symptoms do not become chronic? Here are the answers you need if you have recently experienced a whiplash injury in a high-impact collision.

What Causes a Whiplash Injury?

The first factor when it comes to a whiplash injury is the force of the accident or injury, causing the head to whip forward and backward. This results from rapid acceleration and deceleration. For example, when someone is in a head-on collision, the abrupt stopping of the vehicle throws the head forward and then backward. If you are rear-ended, the head is thrown backward first and then forward. Of course, whiplash injuries can also be caused by a sudden side to side motion.

When the neck is forced into fully extended positions in a sudden movement, this can affect the structures of the neck. The ligaments and tendons that connect the bones and muscles can become stretched and compressed rapidly. This can lead to damage (such as microtears) and inflammation. The vertebrae themselves may also shift out of alignment due to the sudden and rapid movement.

If you have experienced a whiplash injury due to a high-impact collision, how can you find relief from the symptoms? Chiropractic care is a good place to start.

Gentle Chiropractic Care Following a Whiplash Injury

Your chiropractor will want to take x-rays to ensure there is no serious damage before performing adjustments. Once it is safe, alignment issues will be corrected in a gentle manner. This is especially essential at first so that the adjustments do not exacerbate the swelling.  

Once the vertebrae are back in proper alignment, it is easier for the body to get to work healing the surrounding soft tissue. Ice can also be beneficial when you are dealing with inflammation. Once the inflammation goes down, heat can be used to promote further healing by driving blood to the injured area.

At Ward Chiropractic and Rehabilitation in Fairfax, VA, you can get the help you need in the wake of a high-impact collision. Contact us today by calling 703.672.1661, or you can request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you recover successfully from your whiplash injury.