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Automobile & Car Accident Injury - Whiplash Treatment


Whiplash is a common result from car accidents and  should be addressed as soon as possible.  Most collision accidents with a moving or stationary object hit from behind or from the side cause side effects of whiplash.

Typical whiplash occurs upon impact causing your head to move backwards as your body naturally contracts the muscles in the front of your neck to counter the "whipping" of your head.  This sprains/strains the muscles and ligaments in your neck causing the neck pain, headaches and pinched nerves.  There are many physical side effects to a car accident such as bruising, broken bones, cuts, and concussions.  Unfortunately whiplash is a condition you cannot see on the surface and this causes the most ongoing problems.  You must initiate a response to any auto accidents to prevent further discomfort and problems in the future.


What should you do immediately after an automobile accident?

Stay put and calm down unless you are in danger from other vehicles, you smell gasoline, see smoke or any sign of fire.

1.  Try to relax and check for possible injuries.  Make sure your face and head are not bleeding.  Shock can mask many of your initial symptoms.  Slowly test the movement of your neck, shoulders, arms, legs and feet.

 2.  Regardless of how minor the accident appears or how you think you feel, never dismiss the possibility that soft tissue damage or spinal subluxations (spinal misalignments) have occurred.  See a chiropractor immediately to help alleviate the spinal stress you have endured.  Subluxations may not cause pain for days, weeks, months, or even years.  Whiplash can show itself in many different ways.

3.  If you do not think you are seriously injured, then you should follow necessary steps that involve personal injuries in automobile accidents.  Reach in your glove box or console and pull out the brightly colored envelope that contains your blank Accident Report Form/Diagram and fill out the accident report immediately while the incident is current in your mind.

Chaparral Chiropractic treats many patients for neck pain, back pain, pinched nerves and headaches. The causes of these symptoms usually are initiated by automobile accidents.  More often than not, the auto accidents in question occurred years earlier and the initial symptoms were not taken seriously by the patient.

The injury mechanisms in whiplash type accidents are complex.  Muscles are stretched and torn, ligaments can partially tear or rupture, intervertebral discs can become herniated and spinal fractures may occur.  These injuries can be slightly irritating or even lead to severe disability.  Back and neck pain are severe enough in the short term however more difficult to address in a long term chronic situation.

While the mechanism of injury in whiplash cases is complex, the typical resulting spinal injuries follow a well established path.  Initially, the muscles and ligaments in the injured area are irritated.  This irritation leads to inflammation.  Inflammation is not only responsible for many of the initial symptoms that you experience but is also responsible for scar tissue formation which can make your symptoms permanent or chronic.

Statistically, approximately 25% of auto injury victims will suffer from some ongoing symptoms related to their accident.  This statistic comes to attention in our Scottsdale chiropractic office.  Chiropractors are experts in dealing with these types of neck pain, back pain and headaches caused by accidents.  The best way to ensure that you do not become part of this 25% statistic (who never fully recover from auto accidents) is to get examined and begin treatment if recommended by Dr. Christi Chism.

Even if you are just a "little sore," get a thorough examination done by a professional.

Dr. Chism has 20 years experience in treating injuries related to auto accident injuries and she can be reached at (480) 994-8900 for any questions.