“Whiplash” is a term commonly used referring to injuries sustained in a car crash. However, the term is more appropriately used to describe a “mechanism of injury”, which means how the patient was injured. So “whiplash” isn’t the injury itself. Also, a whiplash mechanism of injury can be caused by trauma other than car crashes. A person can suffer the same damage from sports injuries, falls, even roller coasters!
Whiplash can cause a variety of symptoms including:
- Neck pain
- Upper back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Mild traumatic brain injury symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, fatigue, brain fog, etc
Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash-type of injuries. When a person is ‘rear-ended” their car gets violently shoved forward. The seat a person is sitting in is violently shoved forward as well. A person’s head is generally not against the seat headrest, and usually gets snapped back very quickly. This is the same motion as if someone came up behind you and shoved you in the back. The difference is that the speed of the car striking another car from behind is MUCH FASTER and more violent.
There are many different parts of the body and tissues that can be damaged in a whiplash event
Some of them include:
- Tearing of spine ligaments
- Tearing of spine/shoulder muscles and tendons
- Concussion/ traumatic brain injury
- Fracture of bones, etc.
If you have experienced a whiplash injury of any type, we recommend you get evaluated for potential injury right away. Our doctors at Advanced Spine & Posture are trained to perform a thorough trauma history and exam. We are also equipped with diagnostic equipment on site, including Xray, to begin to identify any damage to your body.