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Unwrapping the Mystery Behind Whiplash Injuries

Our Irvine Chiropractor Unwraps the Mystery Behind Whiplash Injuries

When you hear the word whiplash, you probably think of a car accident victim walking around stiffly in a neck brace.  While auto accidents often result in whiplash injuries, they can also occur during a fall or any sudden blow to the head and neck area.

What Causes Whiplash?

A whiplash injury occurs when the head and neck are thrown very quickly in one direction and then rebound in the opposite direction.  In other words, the head is whipped around on the neck.  This motion causes damage to the nerves, muscles, ligaments and joints of the neck. Research has shown that even a low impact collision can cause a whiplash-like injury.  Even in these types of accidents, the head can receive up to 2 ½ times more force than the car itself.

Tell-tale Signs

Many times symptoms of a whiplash injury appear immediately.  Other times, the symptoms may take hours, weeks or months before the symptoms are noticed.  This delay of symptom onset is due to the bleeding and formation of scar tissue that occurs around the injured area.  In some cases, whiplash pain can appear at the time of injury and decreases as time goes on.  Severe symptoms can occur later when additional stresses are placed on the spine.

The most obvious symptoms of whiplash- even the mild cases- are neck, shoulder and back pain. 

But beware- there are some symptoms that you may not relate to the whiplash injury, such as headaches, dizziness, stiffness, nausea, numbness and tingling in the arms/hands, weakness, swelling, back and chest pain and blurred vision.

Proper Care Is No Accident

Unfortunately, whiplash injuries do not heal themselves.  Getting immediate, proper care for whiplash can help you avoid serious problems later.  An untreated whiplash injury can lead to disc degeneration and neck arthritis.  Returning misaligned vertebrae to their proper positions can relieve many whiplash injuries.  Doctors of chiropractic are specifically trained in treating soft tissue damage to the neck, back and other joints of the body.  Dr. Gary Martin, our Irvine Chiropractor is very experienced in treating many whiplash injuries through careful evaluation and gentle, safe chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy.  If you’ve been injured, or you think you have whiplash symptoms, call his Irvine office soon for a convenient appointment time.

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