Whiplash causes hyperextension of the neck

whiplash-injuryHave you been in a motor vehicle accident? Then you have experienced whiplash to some degree. Whiplash causes hyperextension of the neck in the direction of the impact. Patients often experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, and migraine-like headaches. Your neck consists of the cervical spine with nerve fibres exiting and entering the spine as well as the vertebral artery. This artery provides blood to the brain. Hyperextension of the neck causes direct injury to the cervical nerve roots, cervical joints, and the vertebral artery.

Persistent and chronic headaches during whiplash injuries often originate in the neck not in the head. Hyperextension of the neck injures the delicate nerve fibres that in turn feedback to the muscles (Seletz, 1958). This causes persistent muscle spasms and this pain manifests as headaches. If those cervical nerve fibres are left untreated, their condition deteriorates overtime leading to prolonged pain for months or even years after the initial injury.

Whiplash can also lead to rotation of the cervical spine and dislocation of the vertebrae. This dislocation can pinch on either the cervical nerve roots or the vertebral artery. These dislocated joints can be adjusted back to their normal position overtime. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to be the most effective treatment for whiplash injury patients (Seletz, 1958). At Atlantis Chiropractic and Wellness, Dr. Birk does a through physical examination of the spine as well as order imagining tests to see the location of individual vertebrae within the spine. He can adjust the dislocated vertebrae and joints, thus relieving pressure from the nerve fibres and vertebral artery. These adjustments must be carried out daily following the first three weeks after the injury. If left untreated the dislocation can cause degeneration of the spine.

Seletz, Emil. 1958. Whiplash Injuries: Neurophysiological Basis for Pain and Methods used for Rehabilitation. Journal of American Medical Association. Nov 29: 1750-1755.

Murphy, Dan. 2008. Whiplash Overview.

  Have you been injured in a car accident? Dr. Birk provides a FREE consultation at no charge. Call 905-264-9355 to schedule your appointment today!


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