Many people equate whiplash with serious car accidents – and while 2 million people in the US suffer whiplash following an auto incident every year, there are many other less serious incidents that can also cause major neck injuries.
In fact, a person can suffer whiplash in low-speed impacts. For example, in a car being driven as slow as 5 mph, an accident can result in whiplash. Many drivers and passengers have suffered this kind of neck injury by being shunted by another car travelling as slowly as 6 to 12 mph. This kind of incident would not damage the car itself but can cause widespread damage to those travelling inside it.
This is because when someone experiences whiplash, the ligaments that support the neck are strained or torn, extending beyond their normal limits, which then means the vertebrae are forced out of their correct positions as well.
As such, lower impact accidents and injuries can cause whiplash, many of which don’t involve a car at all. Sports such as skiing, cycling, hockey, boxing, ice skating, and gymnastics can all result in this kind of neck injury, as can accidents such as falling down stairs or slipping on ice. Many people are surprised to hear that whiplash can also be caused by birth injuries or physical abuse.
More worryingly whiplash can also cause other health problems such as dizziness, speech and throat problems, and even hearing loss, which can adversely affect a patient’s quality of life.
The best way to alleviate whiplash (ice will only reduce inflammation to the affected areas) is through upper cervical chiropractic – which works to align the top two vertebrae in the neck. These two bones sit at the base of the brainstem, and realigning them enables the brain to once again successfully communicate with the body.
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