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Whiplash: What Is It?

By Sara Butler

Whiplash is an injury most people associate with car accidents, but the truth is that there are many more scenarios in which whiplash can occur than in a fender bender. Whiplash can also be a serious injury that causes pain and discomfort for years, so understanding how you can get it is paramount to your spinal health as well as your overall health. Here's what the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic want you to know about whiplash and how they can help.

When Whiplash Occurs

Whiplash can occur under a variety of circumstances. It's an injury where the neck is stretched beyond its normal range of motion, either moving backward, forward, or side to side. When this stretching occurs, the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and spinal discs can all be injured, which can lead to pain and discomfort.

A few common scenarios that can end in a whiplash injury include:

  • Roller coaster rides
  • Falls
  • Assaults (being punched, jarred, or shaken)
  • Sports

The Symptoms of Whiplash

There are several symptoms that may indicate you have sustained a whiplash injury. The trick is that symptoms may not show up right away as sometimes it can take up to 72 hours after an injury to show up. Some symptoms to be on the lookout for include:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck tenderness
  • Neck stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Ringing in the ears

Since symptoms may not show up right away, it's recommended to have a chiropractic assessment done if you are involved in an accident or have an injury that involves the neck. Regular chiropractic visits are also encouraged if you're simply a roller coaster enthusiast.

How the Chiropractor Can Help

It's important to get any injury checked out by the chiropractor, especially whiplash injuries. They can cause pain and discomfort for months or even years if not dealt with. Don't downplay any injuries you have and always make sure to get it checked out by the chiropractors at The Joint if you suspect you've sustained an injury -- even if symptoms haven't appeared yet.

Remember, the goal of chiropractic care is to help return joints impacted by a whiplash injury back to normal. This means identifying and eliminating any joint dysfunctions to help restore normal function that allows your body to do what it was made to do: heal itself.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Aurora, Colo.

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