Auto Injury Facts

Consider the Facts:

Although the “rear ender” type of accident represents only 20% of motor vehicle accidents, it causes over 80% of injuries giving long-term and persistent symptoms.

A surprised accident victim does not have a chance to brace for impact which can result in more serious injury to the spine and nervous system.

An older accident victim will generally suffer a more serious injury because of decreased elasticity, dramatic loss of flexibility and strength, and slowing of the natural healing rate.

In general, a woman’s lighter musculature means that she will have a higher incident of injury.

In a typical collision, having the head turned to one side such as when talking to another passenger, can dramatically increase the amount of neck injury.

50% of accident victims sustain injuries to the low back, and of these 15% develop serious nerve damage.

Do you suffer from:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Stiff or Painful Neck
  • Loss of Neck Motion
  • Back Pain
  • Numbness/Tingling in Limbs
  • Dizziness/Loss of Balance
  • Nausea
  • Muscle Spasm/Swelling
  • Ringing in Ears
  • Early Arthritis
  • Bursitis, Neuritis, Tendonitis
  • Nervous Anxiety
  • Double Vision/Night Blindness
  • Pinched Nerves
  • Painful Joints

Is the pain you are experiencing related to a minor fender-bender years ago? Whether it is a recent or an old injury, you can get help to lead a more active life.

What Causes Whiplash?

A whiplash injury occurs when the head and neck are thrown very quickly in one direction and then rebounds in the opposite direction. Because the second, snapping motion happens faster then the spinal structure can recover, the muscles, ligaments, and bones in the neck are damaged. This type of injury can also occur in hard falls and diving accidents.

The greatest amount of injury in a typical rear-end collision is from the shifting about of the victim’s spine. The more the vehicle is accelerated and propelled forward, the more “whipping” action occurs.

Studies indicate that injury can occur at impact speeds of 8 mph where there is little or even no damage to the car. Even in these types of accidents, the head can receive up to 2 1/2 times more force than the car itself.

When the head is rotated (as in talking to someone) or inclined, (as it may be looking up and out through the rear view mirror), the severity of the injury increases substantially.

Tell Tale Signs of Injury

Many times, severe whiplash can be detected immediately after a mishap. However, a whiplash injury may take hours, weeks, months, or even years before symptoms are noticed. This is due in part to the bleeding and formation of scar tissue that occurs in the deep soft tissues that surround the injured area.

In some cases, whiplash pain can appear at the time of injury, and then decrease as time goes by. Later severe symptoms you may not relate to the whiplash injury such as headaches, dizziness, stiffness, nausea, numbness and tingling in the arms or hands, weakness, swelling, back and chest pain, and blurred vision.

Common Questions About Auto Accidents

I was in an accident and felt some discomfort in my neck and shoulder. I went to the emergency room for x-rays and was told by the resident that I was OK, and my pain would go away in a couple of days. Later I found out that I have a whiplash injury. Why didn’t the E. R. discover my injury?

Injuries to the soft tissues in the neck are not apparent in standard x-rays or medical exams. MRI studies often show extensive traumas that were missed on x-ray. In order to effectively diagnose a whiplash injury you need to seek the help of professionals specifically trained in soft tissue damage as it relates to the neck and back. Doctors of Chiropractic have been trained to successfully diagnose and treat these types of injuries.

If I had a whiplash in the past, but I feel OK, is it necessary for me to be examined by a Chiropractor?

Yes. Although symptoms may not be present now, an untreated whiplash injury is likely to develop into disc degeneration and arthritis later.