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Whiplash

What Your Insurance Company Does Not Want You To Know

whiplah treatment questions

If you have been in an auto accident there’s some critical information you need to know. Information your insurance company doesn’t want you to know. Even if a medical doctor has examined you, you need to be checked by a spinal expert – a Doctor of Chiropractic. Why? Only Chiropractors can detect subtle injuries to the spine, so call our office today.

 Here’s what you need to know:

  • Many injuries sustained in auto accidents are hidden injuries to the ligaments and muscles of the spine.  When they don’t heal properly they form scar tissue, predisposing you to degenerative disc disease later on in life.
  •  The insurance company will tell you if there is no damage to the car, you could not possibly be hurt. Numerous studies have shown you cannot correlate the amount of damage to the vehicle to a person’s injury. There are over 3 million new whiplash injuries each year, and in low speed rear impact crashes, the risk of injury is 30 to 60%. Of these people, 30 to 50% never fully recover and 14% become disabled.
  • Contrary to what you may have been told, whiplash type injuries do not typically resolve in 6 to 12 weeks. Numerous studies show a significantly longer recovery time. Many injuries can take up to a year to resolve.
  •  A change in velocity between 2 vehicles in an accident of as little as 5 mph is enough of an impact to cause significant damage to your body. Most modern vehicles have bumpers that don’t sustain damage until 8 to 12 mph, far above the speed that can cause an injury. When this difference in speed becomes about 15 mph, spinal cord injuries can occur.
  •  Symptoms such as pain and stiffness, pain between the shoulder blades, headaches, numbness and tingling in the arms or hands, dizziness, and irritability often don’t begin until days, weeks, or even months after an auto accident. The insurance companies know this, and that’s why they try to get you to settle your claim quickly.  Don’t do it!
  • Although up to one in four people that sustain whiplash injuries have symptoms that become chronic, there is hope.  A recent study in the Journal of Orthopedic Medicine showed 85% of people with chronic symptoms improved after just 4 weeks of chiropractic care and 31% were completely relieved of all symptoms.
  • If you are not at fault in an auto accident, it is illegal for your insurance company to raise your rates because you have put in a claim for medical treatment. Furthermore, an insurance company cannot dictate what type of care you get.  Beware! Some insurance adjusters will try to intimidate you into settling your claim to early. Don’t be bullied!

My Car Just Got a Dent. Why Does My Neck Hurt?

whiplash treatment redwood city

Whiplash discomfort can be much different from other injuries. When a car crash is severe, the discomfort will come on right away. If the injury produces a moderate or moderate strain, often it takes a couple of days for the pain and swelling to reach its peak. In some cases it is stiffness that is the primary symptom and you may not even notice for  couple of weeks after the accident. The delay in pain is commonly seen in low speed crashes where usually there is minor damage to the cars.

There are a lot of factors that determine the extent of injury following a low speed whiplash. One of these is the position of your head prior to the impact. Was your head turned? Were you looking up in in the rear-view mirror?  Were you aware of the impending impact? All of these factors can turn a low speed accident into a significant injury.

Another factor is the size and age of your car.  Modern cars are designed with crumple zones, and absorb much of the force of an accident. Older cars transfer much more of the force of the impact into your body.  Combine that with a vulnerable body position, and you have a recipe for a significant injury.

Another contributing factor is the position of your head-rest.  A proper head-rest position needs to be close to the back of the head and slightly above the top of the head. In a rear-end crash, the force of the seat being driven into you body causes you to become temporarily “taller”.  If the head- rest is too low, then the neck will bend around it like a fulcrum, triggering much more damage to your neck. The same thing takes place if the seat is reclined too far and the head whips backwards before hitting the head-rest.

Since symptoms can begin slowly and minor car damages is a poor indicator of injury, a comprehensive assessment of your spinal health is paramount.  We are spine specialists, and have a systematic approach to treating people with whiplash injuries, giving you the best chance to recover from your auto accident.  Call us today, or contact us by clicking here.

New Whiplash Video

Whiplash is a serious injury that afflicts thousands of people every year.  Unfortunately, whiplash injuries are frequently misdiagnosed, or dismissed by the medical profession and the insurance companies, because no “visible evidence” can be seen with existing diagnostic devices.

Treated incorrectly or untreated, many will be left with lifelong pain and / or disability.  Check out this new video that will help explain whiplash injuries.  Just click on the picture below, or click here.

whiplash treatment redwood city

 

 

 

Your head sits atop of your neck like an upright pendulum.  Without notice, a car slams into your rear bumper. Your head extends forward, then immediately backward as your neck compensates for the sudden movement. In this split second, the ligaments, tendons, and nerves in your neck can all be torn instantaneously.  Occurrences like this happen thousands of times each day.  Even after all the paperwork has been accounted for and the car has been fixed, whiplash still remains.

 

Car accidents are one of the many causes of whiplash; other cases may be a result of sports injuries, or a serious fall.  However, with an abundance of motorists on the road each year, the risk of being in a whiplash-related accident is a high probability.  The slightest impact in a car can result in neck and cervical distress.  “An 8mph car collision produces two times the force of gravity (or a G-2) deceleration of the car, and a 5-G deceleration of the head.  This unnatural and forceful movement affects the muscles and ligaments in the neck, stretching, and potentially tearing them.”    Anyone that experiences pain after an accident should not ignore the symptoms.

 

The broad range of symptoms and lack of significant tangible evidence (i.e. scarring, broken bones) leads many medical doctors and insurance companies to dismiss whiplash and prescribe rest and temporary painkillers.  The most common source of pain is usually caused by stretched or torn ligaments, which cannot be seen by the naked eye.  The spinal structure is incredibly vulnerable during an accident, discs in the vertebrae could slip out of alignment and pain could show up days or even weeks later.  Symptoms can start off fairly mild and progressively get worse.  Initially, whiplash pain may be similar to muscle soreness, but as it intensifies, concussion-like symptoms may appear such as fatigue, dizziness, and blurred vision.

 

It is important for whiplash patients to seek a chiropractor for corrective help because of their expertise in spinal manipulation.   “Chiropractic care, with its emphasis on comprehensive spinal health, is well suited to the complex, diverse symptoms and therapeutic response that have contributed to seeming confusion regarding whiplash….  A chiropractor’s systematic approach to treatment, with a realistic focus on active rehabilitation, can achieve better-than-average results for many patients.”   Through methods of manipulative care, chiropractors provide a critical approach for whiplash patients by slowly strengthening the damaged ligaments and tissues back to health.

The primary goal for a whiplash patient is to restore movement and functionality in the damaged areas.  Inactivity will not help the muscles become reoriented with their original range of motion.  Routine adjustments from a chiropractor are critical, but patients must be proactive at home as well.

 

During the night, patients who use ordinary pillows do not receive the corrective support to the head, neck and spine. Cervical pillows offer proper alignment, which is essential to maintaining good posture.  Proper alignment and posture will help to reduce tension throughout the day, enabling greater mobility.

 

Between regular visits with a chiropractor, whiplash patients should begin at-home rehabilitation to the injured spinal structure.  As the soreness subsides, treatment for whiplash must involve re-strengthening the ligaments in the neck that have been overly strained.  As mobility in the neck is restored, resistance should be gradually increased to enhance balance and strength.  Whiplash is a very severe injury to a critical part of the body.  Effective recovery must include a solid balance between chiropractic care, rest, and proper exercise. These methods of treatment are cost efficient and many can be done in the convenience of home.  Whiplash is not something that you “live with.”  The pain can be defeated and life can resume back to normalcy.

 

[1] Walker, Kamiah A., (2010 Feb, 1) Causes of Whiplash.   HYPERLINK “http://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/whiplash/causes-whiplash” \t “_blank” http://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/whiplash/causes-whiplash

[2] Practical Research Studies (1993)

 

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