Whiplash 101

When it comes to whiplash, most think that those only individuals that have been in a car accident can experience it. Here at Shields Chiropractic, we’ve treated many patients suffering from whiplash, and we can confirm that thinking is simply not true. Whiplash can have serious effects and can cause long-lasting health issues, which is why it is important for you to understand exactly what whiplash is and how it can happen to you. Here’s what you should know.

What Is Whiplash?

According to the American Chiropractic Society, whiplash injuries are hyper-extension injuries of the neck. That means the neck muscles have been pulled or pushed beyond their normal range of motion.

Whiplash typically happens when the body moves forward and the head doesn’t move with it as it should. It then gets snapped backward and forward (or vice versa) to keep up. When this occurs, the ligaments and muscles in the neck are strained, which causes pain, stiffness, mobility issues, and headaches.

How Can It Happen?

As we mentioned earlier, car accidents aren’t the only way to get whiplash, though it is quite common. Here are some other strange ways that you can experience whiplash.

  • Dancing - Who doesn’t love a night out on the dance floor? You might feel the urge to bob your head to the music, but certain movements can cause whiplash injuries. If you aren’t careful, whiplash can happen on the dancefloor, whether you’re breakdancing or ballroom dancing.

  • Sports - Okay, this one is obvious, especially when it comes to contact sports like rugby and football. Keep in mind that issues with whiplash can happen from a number of sports, including snowboarding, skiing, cycling, and diving. Take great care when participating in any sport to prevent injury. We want to help you perform at your best!

  • Slipping, falling, or tripping - Injuries from slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries, including whiplash. Do you remember the last time you slipped and fell? You probably felt a little bit shaken up and maybe even a little different in your neck. Be sure to get checked out if you experience injuries from a slip and fall accident.

  • Theme park rides - Summer is here and that means visiting the local theme park! As fun as riding rollercoasters can be, anything that jerks your body around at high speeds can trigger whiplash!

What Should You Do?

Whiplash injuries are certainly not the worst thing that can happen to your neck, but it is a bigger deal than most people imagine. The symptoms can have quite the negative impact, from pain in the jaw, shoulder, neck, and head to stiffness in the neck.

If you have suffered from a whiplash injury, schedule an appointment with us. Our training and expertise will create a treatment plan that is unique to your needs and will have your neck feeling great, just as it should!