Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What is Whiplash? July 2012

 July 2012

Hi Everybody Dr. Norris here.  I hope you and your family are well.  It is hard to believe we are going into the second half of 2012 already.  This month I want to tell you about injuries from auto accidents and give you some advise on how to cope with them.  So here we go.

Insurance statistics show that if we drive we will have an accident every seven years.  The most common injury from an auto accident is whiplash.  This type of injury was first identified in pilots who were injuring their necks while landing planes on aircraft carriers.  Their heads were snapped forward and back as they came to a sudden stop.  That is the same mechanism of injury in an auto accident.  When a vehicle is struck the occupants are jolted towards the impact.  Unfortunately the neck and upper back receive most of the force.

Simply put whiplash is a sprain/strain of the cervical spine and associated soft tissues.  Because ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves can be damaged symptoms can vary widely. Most common symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, headache, shoulder pain/stiffness, dizziness, fatigue, jaw pain, arm pain, arm weakness, visual disturbances, ringing ear noises, and sometimes back pain.  The most effective initial treatment is rest, ice and pain therapy.  Because the bones of the neck fit together like a jigsaw puzzle there is not much room for error.  Even a slight misalignment can produce significant symptoms.  After the first few days of rest and therapy, spinal manipulation is the only way to put the spine back in place. Eventually exercises will help to strengthen and stabilize the injured area.

Some studies have concluded that this type of spinal injury can take up to 12 months to fully heal.  In my experience most treatment takes 2-4 months depending on the severity of the injuries.  The sooner treatment starts the faster and better you will heal.

Please be careful out on the highways… but if an accident happens don’t hesitate to call me for an evaluation.  I work with several competent attorneys who can help you if necessary.

Have a great summer. Thanks for trusting your health to us at Norris Chiropractic.

Dr. Michael Norris

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today. Let us begin." ~Mother Teresa