How Common Is Whiplash After a Car Accident?

Car accidents happen all the time in the United States and around the world. It is advisable to seek medical care after a car accident to ensure you do not have internal bleeding and injuries from the crash's impact. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries you may sustain from an accident.


When you are involved in a car accident, however small or minor, it is advisable to seek chiropractic care. Chiropractors run a complete body evaluation to check for hidden injuries like whiplash.


What Is Whiplash?


Whiplash is a common car accident injury that occurs from both major and minor accidents. It happens when your head suddenly moves forward and is violently pulled back. The impact, speed, and stress this type of movement puts on your neck cause damage to your cervical spine and neck tissues.


The damage from the movement affects the vertebrae, muscles, ligaments, and other connective tissue in the neck and upper back. It results in a stiff neck, pain, and headaches that radiate from the neck. The pain may also radiate to your arms through your shoulders.


How Common Is Whiplash?


As mentioned above, whiplash can occur after any car accident. According to a study on car accident injuries, over two million Americans suffer from whiplash after a car accident. Comparing this with the five million accidents that happen yearly shows how significantly high it is. 


Whiplash is common because of the dynamics involved in a car accident. The neck is a pretty strong body part, but it is not built to withstand all the force produced in a car crash. An average car weighs about 4,000 pounds or more. When momentum from such mass hits your vehicle, it produces such significant force even when the car is not moving fast. This is why you should see a chiropractor anytime you are involved in an accident, minor or major.


What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?


Often, whiplash symptoms only manifest days after the accident. They include:


  • Stiffness and pain in the neck

  • The pain worsens as you move your neck

  • Limited range of motion in the neck, which may continue to reduce

  • Headaches radiating from the base of the neck

  • Your upper back, arms, and shoulder may become tender or have pain

  • Numbness and tingling in your arms

  • Dizziness

  • Fatigue


You may experience other rare symptoms like:


  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ears

  • Your vision may become blurry

  • Irritability

  • Problems sleeping

  • Depression

  • It may become challenging to concentrate on anything you do

  • You may experience issues with memory


What Treatment Is Used for Whiplash?


When you visit your chiropractor after an accident, they will first ask for your medical history. It will include your age, the recent state of your health, and if you have any history of health complications. Next, they will examine you to determine the extent of the injury. While doing this, they will want to know which symptoms you have been experiencing.


They will develop a treatment plan from the information you give them and the evaluation. It will include specific adjustments to restore your neck mobility. The adjustments will also break down tissue scarring and prompt the body to start healing. 


For more on how common whiplash is after a car accident, visit O'Neill Chiropractic at our office in North Charleston, South Carolina. Call (843) 865-6500​​​​​​​ to book an appointment today.

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