June 7, 2008
Whiplash can be a very painful and unfortunate result of an automobile accident, sporting mishap or fall. But while most people think of whiplash as an adult injury, the reality is that children can also suffer from whiplash. In fact, they are even at a greater risk because of their activity level.
Whiplash is typically known to occur in an automobile accident. In a car collision, the head is suddenly jerked back and forth beyond its normal limits resulting in stretching and/or tearing of muscles and ligaments supporting the head and spine beyond their normal limits.
Children, and even women, are usually more prone to whiplash injuries than men. Their small frame, position of the head rests and seatbelts, and sensitivity to air bags are some of the reasons for this.
The position of a headrest is especially important in guarding against whiplash. A headrest that is placed too low, or even too high, may not catch the head in time to prevent the jarring motions that result in whiplash. It is important for your headrest to be lined up with the head and to be positioned close so it can protect you in case of any accident. Other things to consider while riding in a car is to keep good posture, don’t recline if you don’t need to, and don’t lean forward if you don’t need to. By sitting up straight the seat belt is able to hold the body in place using the strongest bones in the body.
The biggest mistake whiplash victims often make is they do not seek treatment until more serious complications develop. Frequently, following an automobile accident, sporting or other injury, there are no broken bones and individuals suffering from pain ignore problems or, in the case of children, cannot express their pain so that others believe they need care. Some of the symptoms of whiplash to look out for include:
• Neck pain
• Blurred vision
• Difficulty swallowing
• Pain between the shoulder blades that radiates down the back of the neck
• Pain in the arms or legs, feet and hands
• Ringing in the ears
• Numbness and tingling down the arms or legs
• Pain in the jaw or face
Chiropractors are experts in treating whiplash through the application of gentle adjustments that are specifically targeted at misaligned vertebra. Chiropractic adjustments are also often referred to as “spinal manipulations” and have been proven to be highly beneficial in the treatment of injuries associated with whiplash.
Children are especially important to treat as soon as possible after finding a whiplash injury. Many adult problems such as arthritis, limited range of motion, neck pain while looking up, and many more can be associated with childhood injuries left untreated. Treating an injury in childhood is by far the fastest and most beneficial way to help the body heal itself. Children heal very quickly and the treatment will take less time and be more effective than if the injury is treated later. It also avoids the years of pain and compromise the injury can cause.
When someone suffers from whiplash, chiropractic treatment will focus on adjusting the neck area to correct spinal misalignments that can affect the nervous system. Chiropractors are experts in the care of nerves, muscles and connective tissues, which make up 60 percent of the body. All of the joints in an individual’s body are part of this musculo-skeletal system and its optimal function is necessary for overall good health. Even though a whiplash patient may experience mostly neck pain, other parts of the body may be compromised because of the nerve interference in the spine.
In conclusion, whiplash patients who have received chiropractic care experience a faster and more complete healing than patients who decide to “tough it out.” A chiropractor will take x-rays and perform test to determine the severity of whiplash. Chiropractic treatment of whiplash in children can avoid many future complications all without the use of drugs and surgery.
May 1, 2008
Whiplash neck injuries are among the fastest growing health problems in the USA today. The ever increasing number of automobiles rolling onto our congested streets and highways, the increased speed of our freeway systems, power brakes, and more powerful engines all contribute to the growing frequency of the type of accident that can result in a whiplash neck injury.
The research crash council of the USAF has demonstrated that the normal neck can withstand a forward snapping of 50 times the force of gravity before producing a major injury, whereas a backward snapping acceleration of only 5 times the force of gravity can be tolerated. And since an auto traveling at only 25 miles per hour creates a force exceeding 3400 pounds, the impact of a crash at this speed will exert several tons of force on the victim’s neck.
A whiplash neck injury occurs as the result of a sudden backward and forward whipping movement of the neck. This sudden, forceful movement often stretches or sprains the ligaments and muscles which hold the spinal segments within a critical range of movement or position. Failure of the holding ligaments to support the spine allows the spinal segments to become displaced, thus altering the normal mechanical balance of the spine. This increased stress results in eventual degenerative disease of the balance of the disc with ‘spur’ formation and the ‘spurs’ will occlude the spinal nerve openings.