Factors that Affect the Severity of Whiplash

There are many different factors that can affect the severity of a whiplash injury.  Whiplash describes damage to both the soft tissues and the bone structures of the neck.  If you have been in an auto accident you need to visit a doctor.  North Country Pain Relief Center can help with transportation if your vehicle is damaged.

Ligament and Disc Injury

Because the cervical spine is pushed so far outside of the normal range of motion in an auto accident there is the possibility for injury in ligaments and discs, especially in the lower portion of the cervical spine.  There are many factors that can contribute to the extent of the damage sustained, including the the following: the way in which the cars collided, the speed of the vehicles, posture at the time of impact, the awareness of the impending impact, overall health and physical condition, and gender.

Nervous System Issues

Your body has a stabilization response to help protect the cervical spine from whiplash.  When your nervous system detects an imminent impact the nervous system quickly contracts the muscles of the cervical spine to try and protect the area.  The goal is to reduce the damage sustained by lessening the impact on the discs and ligaments.  If the body is well conditioned the speed of the stabilization response going to be faster than a response in a poorly conditioned body.

Overall Health

Physical condition and the overall health of the nervous system have an impact on the severity of whiplash injury.  The awareness of the impact also has a significant effect on severity of a whiplash injury.  A person who knows the impact is coming may have time for the stabilization system to respond.  A person who is unaware of the coming impact will have a slower response time, and therefore a less efficient response.

Being a Female

Women are generally suffer more seriously from whiplash than men do.  The difference is due to differences in bone structure and muscular bulk.  The cervical spine is less protected from exterior forces such as an auto accident in women than in men.

Don’t Hesitate on Treatment

Whiplash is serious.  Pain and symptoms from a whiplash injury can last for months or years, and damage done can cause chronic pain.  A delay in initial treatment makes a difference in the way you will recover from whiplash.  There can be significant injury to nerves, discs in the cervical spine, ligaments or joint capsule injury.

Whiplash will cause neck pain, stiffness, and headaches.  There may be dizziness or you may have trouble concentrating.  Symptoms can appear immediately, or they may take a few days to show up.

A chiropractic doctor uses a holistic approach, understanding that the body is interconnected and the various parts of the body have an effect on each other, therefore therefore your chiropractor may address your whiplash in one or more ways, including treatment for joint dysfunction, muscle dysfunction, disc derangement, and faulty movement patterns.

There is a misconception about the damage to a vehicle corresponding to the injuries of the occupants; if the vehicles are not damaged in a low speed impact it may seem reasonable to assume that the occupants are also undamaged, but this is not true.  There may actually be a higher risk of damage in low impact collisions, the metal vehicle will absorb some of the force if it crushes.

If you have been in any sort of auto accident give us a call, we can help.