If you’ve ever been in a car accident there’s a good chance you have whiplash, but you might not even know it. Even an accident at 15 KM per hour can create neck damage. These injuries are very slow to heal, and they will know to away on their own. It takes an experienced healer to help you overcome the problem.
Many whiplash symptoms are not commonly associated with the condition. Everyone knows about neck pain, but did you know you can also get headaches and dizzy spells. Some patients experience a loss of strength or a tingling sensation in their arms. Patients may also feel cloudy-minded or unable to think as sharply as they once did. If you believe you may have whiplash after reading about these symptoms it is important for you to seek help as soon as possible.
Who Sustains the Most Whiplash Damage?
Many situational factors can determine the severity of your injuries when you get into a car accident. For example, if you anticipate the accident you tend to sustain less damage than if you never saw it coming. This is because when you anticipate the accident you tend to brace yourself. This means you tear muscles, and muscles tend to heal quickly. However, when you’re not ready your joints take on the force instead.
The direction of your head at the point when you were hit also factors into the equation. If you were looking forward at the time of the accident you would have sustained less damage than if you were looking off to the side.
And, of course, your age, weight, sex, and health conditions can all play a role as well. For example, women are more likely to sustain damage during a whiplash accident than men are. If you’re older, you’re going to sustain more damage than a younger person will. And if you had previous spinal issues, you will almost certainly experience more complications than someone who had a healthy spine at the time of the accident.
How Does Whiplash Change Your Spine?
Whiplash causes patients to lose the curve in their spines. When you look at a normal neck from the side you’ll see it has a banana shape. However, when you get whiplash you lose that curve. The neck bones are now literally “whip straight.” As a result, you begin to hold your head in a “head forward” posture.
Ideally, your head will sit above your shoulders, but when you have a head forward posture that changes. Now, the head is sitting ahead of the shoulders. This changes the effective weight of your head.
To understand why this matters so much, picture what it’s like to hold a bowling ball. If you hold the bowling ball close to the body the weight is generally a lot more manageable. It doesn’t seem as heavy and your arms don’t get as tired. However, if you try to hold the bowling ball by extending your arms away from your body then your arms will start to ache and tremble because the ball’s effective weight has changed.
Remember that weight is not the same as mass—mass is how much matter something has, and weight is the effect of gravity pulling on that matter. So a bowling ball (or a head) with 10kg of mass can actually have more or less weight depending upon its position simply because the effects of gravity are changing.
This is really major because every time your head moves forward by one inch the weight of your head effectively doubles. Your ten-pound head now weighs twenty pounds when it’s positioned one inch forward. It will weigh 30 pounds if it’s positioned two inches forward. Obviously pain and strain will be the result. This is why we tell patients that whiplash is not a “minor” injury at all!
What You Need to Know About ICBC and Whiplash
Here at Pure Chiropractic we are ICBC providers. This means you have a great reason for stopping by to see as soon as you can after suffering from a car accident. If you come to see us within two months of the accident, then we will take care of all the filing and the billing for you. This means you won’t be paying out-of-pocket for your care. If you wait, you will complicate your condition and your pocketbook! Avoid that situation by calling our offices to make an appointment today.