Whiplash is caused by an event that accelerates our neck at violent speeds, injuring the upper back, lower and upper neck as the rest of our body stays somewhat motionless.

The Second Law of Motion states that if an unbalanced force acts on a body, that body will experience acceleration (or deceleration), that is, a change of speed. At impact, our body braces itself, reducing normal range of motion. However, the force of impact, as described by Newton, flexes and extends the neck beyond its normal range, thus injuring tissue and causing acute and eventual chronic symptoms: whiplash.

About This Condition

Car Accidents & Whiplash

A motor vehicle accident can be very traumatic, but the effects of such an injury can be longer lasting than initially assumed, and symptoms may not even seem to occur for months following the initial injury. This is why even at speeds as low as 5 mph there can be significant injury to the spine and therefore even seemingly mild motor vehicle accidents need to be taken seriously. Even before symptoms appear, there can be damage to tissues of the spine with resultant aberrant signaling occurring in brain function.

Steps to Follow After You Experience a Car Accident

If you experience a motor vehicle accident make sure you follow these steps:

1) Ice as quickly as possible for 10-15 min/hr, 3-4 times per day if possible
2) If it is recommended by medical professionals on scene, please get an x-ray
3) Call your Chiropractic Neurologist and begin therapy as soon as possible

Symptoms of Whiplash

Symptoms are often not experienced immediately after the injury, thus lessening the patient’s initial assessment of the severity during the whiplash event. Common symptoms can range from tension headaches and pain at the base of the skull to neck and upper back pain. Whiplash can also cause dizziness, vertigo, loss of range of motion or stiffness and chest pain due to the seat belt straining the rib joints.

How We Can Help

We believe the best way to care for whiplash is through holistic approaches, like chiropractic neurology. Reducing inflammation is key to long term success. The vertebrae of the spine must regain proper biomechanics (motion), thus reducing inflammation and the potential for future osteoarthritis. Strengthening of the larger muscle groups is necessary, but even more important is the retraining and strengthening of the spinal stabilizers that are most damaged during any whiplash event. Additionally, normal range of motion and signaling from the spine is vital to appropriate function of the vestibular and ocular systems which affect overall brain function.

About Us

The team of Functional Neurologists at Integrated Brain Centers are experts in helping patients of all ages suffering from concussion and brain injuries.