A Rose By Any Other Name: Whiplash and ‘The Bachelor’

By Sara Butler

Bachelor Holding Rose

It occurs to me now that perhaps I should use a pen name to protect my real identity because I’m about to admit something that I don’t advertise in my own personal life: I watch “The Bachelor.” Yes, I’ve watched probably hundreds of hours of this show. Who will get a rose? Who won’t? Who will get stabbed in the back this week? It’s like a car accident I can’t look away from -- the drama is just too delicious and the scenes too manufactured to look away.

Yes, to these contestants, being removed from the bachelor’s smorgasbord of dates is tantamount to the end of the world, but you know what is just a wee bit worse than getting eliminated from a manufactured reality show car wreck? Getting injured in an actual car wreck.

Every year in the United States, more than 2 million people get injured in car accidents. When you’re in a car accident, whether it’s major or minor to your car, it can be majorly damaging to you. There are dangers to your health lurking behind that fender bender -- but rest assured, your chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic may be a great place to start the recovery process; however, should your injuries involve insurance or indicate the need for further diagnostic testing and more intense care, you will be referred to the appropriate facility or provider.

The Hidden Dangers of Fender Benders

People think that if their car doesn’t have a lot of damage, then their body won’t have much either, but it’s not a relationship that is directly proportional. Whenever your vehicle comes to a sudden stop, your body will continue to travel in the direction your car was. That forward momentum will be brought to a halt from the seat belt or the airbag, and that’s when head and neck injuries occur.

It’s physics, and unlike a contrived reality show catfight, it can leave lasting injuries.

The Most Common Car Accident Injuries

There are several injuries you can sustain from a car accident that can cause lasting pain and damage. The most common injuries are:

  • Whiplash – This is the one you’re probably most familiar with. Whiplash is an injury to the neck’s soft tissues, and it occurs when your head is suddenly jerked forward then back, stretching the soft tissues in the neck beyond normal limits.
  • Headaches – Headaches are also very common after a car accident, and can be a symptom of whiplash or a result of irritation to the nerves in your neck if they are damaged upon impact.
  • Neck pain – Neck pain is often the result of damage to strained tendons and muscles from the impact of the accident.

Signs and Symptoms of Injury

Car accident injuries can be sneaky because they can literally take days to show up. They’re not always going to be something you experience right away, which is why getting to your chiropractor as soon as you can after an accident -- whether you feel injured or not -- is really important.

Symptoms of an injury after a car accident include:

  • Decreased range of motion in the neck
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Pain in the neck, especially when turning or tilting the head
  • Soreness or tenderness to the touch

If the injury is really severe it can result in a concussion, which requires immediate medical attention. If you feel sleepy, dizzy, or nauseous in the aftermath of an accident, then get help straightaway.

Treatment Options

In the immediate aftermath of an accident you should:

  • Apply ice – This can help to reduce swelling and pain. Even if you’re not experiencing pain, it’s a good idea to slap some ice on there every half hour or so for a couple of days.
  • See your chiropractor – Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms, go see your chiropractor, who can assess your health, help you gain a clearer understanding of your injuries and, if necessary, refer you should there be extenuating medical issues directly related to the accident.
  • Exercises – Your chiropractor may prescribe some simple stretching exercises to help restore movement and strength to your neck.

Remember, if you leave an injury from a car accident untreated, then it can lead to many more serious problems in the future. If the joints in your neck become immobile, then the discs in your spine can begin to break down and you are headed for the final rose ceremony with some painful arthritis.

And if your favorite contestant on the spellbinding car wreck that is “The Bachelor” doesn’t end up with a rose, just remember that it could be worse. You could have permanent damage from an actual car wreck to contend with!

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