Many people who suffer from the effects of whiplash are unaware of their injury at the time of the accident. Everyone recognizes the symptoms of a severe whiplash, the type of injury that happens in an automobile accident when the head is snapped in a forward and then backward motion. Few people, however, realize that even a slight jolt to the neck can result in problems later on. The reason is that so many vital nerves, muscles, and blood vessels are located in the neck that even a minor sudden jolt can cause damage.
It is important to note that almost every person involved in a moving vehicle accident suffers a whiplash injury to some degree. Recent studies have shown that a normal neck can withstand a forward snapping motion of 50 times the force of gravity before producing an injury. However, in the case of a backward rebounding motion only 5 times the force of gravity can be tolerated. An automobile traveling only 25 miles per hour creates 3,400 pounds of force. The impact of a crash at this speed will place several tons of force on the victim’s neck.
It is quite common for there to be no discomfort immediately after an accident. When the vertebrae are misaligned after a jolt, it may take some time before the irritation of the nerves caused by the misalignment becomes severe enough to produce the symptoms associated with a whiplash injury. These symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, stiffness and pain in the area of the neck, or tingling in the arms and shoulders.
For these reasons, it is important to visit VanNess Chiropractic immediately after any injury to the neck, no matter how slight. Through careful monitoring and corrective adjustments, Dr. VanNess will help you avoid serious neck problems later.