Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in auto accidents, with an estimated case total exceeding one million per year. Medically, speaking, whiplash is the hyperflexion and hyperextension of the neck. In plain English, whiplash is the sudden strain to the muscles, bones and nerves in the neck. There are four phases of whiplash; initial position, retraction, extension and rebound.
Auto accidents are the greatest cause of whiplash, but they are not the only cause. If you have experienced an event such as a fall from a bike, scooter, horse or chair or involved in a sports collision and are experiencing head and neck pain, it is highly recommended that schedule a meeting with our doctors so that diagnosis can be made and rehabilitation started immediately.
Symptoms of whiplash include headaches, pain and aching in the neck or shoulders and sensations in the arms and legs. The following grading system was developed by the Quebec Task Force to differentiate the severity of whiplash injuries:
- Whiplash Grade 0: no neck pain, stiffness, or any physical signs are noticed.
- Whiplash Grade 1: neck complaints of pain, stiffness or tenderness only but no physical signs are noted by the examining physician.
- Whiplash Grade 2: neck complaints and the examining physician finds decreased range of motion and point tenderness in the neck.
- Whiplash Grade 3: neck complaints plus neurological signs such as decreased deep tendon reflexes, weakness and sensory deficits.
- Whiplash Grade 4: neck complaints and fracture or dislocation, or injury to the spinal cord.
While the rehabilitation plan for a whiplash injury depends on the severity of the injury, recovery from all whiplash injuries is expedited when treatment is started immediately following the injury. Delaying the rehabilitation can cause chronic pain. Treatments can involve exercises, stimulation, acupuncture, massage therapy and heat treatment.
Whiplash can be debilitating and should be addressed immediately so that chronic problems do not persist. Advanced Chiropractic & Rehab, Inc. is the best chiropractic care in the Youngstown / Mahoning Valley area. We have the knowledge and experience to help patients recover from most whiplash injuries. Contact us to start the healing process in our Boardman, Hubbard or Kinsman offices.