Whiplash Q & A
Can Whiplash Be Prevented?
Whiplash often occurs due to a hard impact of some kind, most commonly in auto accidents. It can also be the result of a fall or any other activity in which the body immediately comes to an unexpected stop. In most cases, there is very little a person can do to prevent whiplash. Taking every precaution possible when it comes to being safe both inside an automobile and out is the first step. In a work environment, or anywhere the risk of failing is increased, wear shoes that do not slip or slide. Know your surroundings and identify tripping hazards so they can be removed. Whiplash is an extremely painful injury and it is important to do everything possible to reduce the risk of having this type of injury.
How is Whiplash Treated?
Whiplash is treated by immobilizing the neck so that the connective and soft tissues can begin to heal. This is accomplished by fitting the patient with a cervical collar or brace that holds the head in the straightforward with the chin tilted slightly upward. A whiplash injury is caused by the violent jerking of the head in one direction and then back to its original position. Chiropractic care and massage therapy can help to alleviate much of the pain associated with this type of injury, as well as help to strengthen and stabilize the soft tissues that may be affected. The addition of the cervical collar prevents the person from moving their head in such a way as to aggravate or re-injure the area.
What is the Most Common Cause of Whiplash?
Whiplash can be caused by any activity that results in the violent jerking of the head and neck in a back and forth motion. Auto accidents are the most common cause of whiplash and other neck related injuries. Because the body is seat belted firmly in place, it will stop at the same time as the vehicle. The head, however, is not restrained and will continue to move forward at the same rate of speed. When the head has reached a point where it can no longer move forward, it will be jerked backward. This snapping motion can cause significant injuries to the connective tissues that hold the head in place. Whiplash can also be caused by falls and blunt force trauma but to a lesser degree.