Whiplash is the name given to trauma that affects the cervical spine, or the vertebrae in your neck. Although whiplash can be caused by a serious fall, physical assault, or contact sports, it’s most often the result of a rear-end collision or some other car accident. Whiplash occurs when your head is thrown back and forth, causing the quick, forceful, and uncontrollable backward-and-forward movement of your neck. This causes your spine to move rapidly inside your neck, much like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash injuries typically cause some amount of trauma to the discs, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and surrounding tissues in your neck. Common symptoms of whiplash include:
People who have been in a minor collision may also walk away with hidden trauma to their lumbar spine (lower back) or their thoracic spine (mid- to upper-back). These insidious injuries are also often the result of a rear-end collision, but they can happen in any forceful impact. Although back injury symptoms do usually appear within 24 hours, it’s possible for them to emerge days or weeks after the event. Common signs of back trauma include:
If you’ve been in an automobile accident and you experience the initial symptoms of a spinal injury soon after, it’s in your best interest to seek medical care as soon as possible. That’s because patients who experience symptoms soon after sustaining trauma are more likely to develop long-term, chronic pain if their injuries go untreated. With a proper diagnosis and prompt treatment, however, many patients affected by spinal trauma will recover completely in a matter of months. The team at Ultimate Health Medical Clinic uses a combination of therapies to address spinal injuries, including gentle chiropractic care, massage, and special exercises. Stretching exercises help increase mobility and overall range of motion, while corrective exercises improve strength and posture to help you prevent future injury.
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