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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.

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