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The “12 MPH” Whiplash Myth and more in Winter Park

MYTH 1: “You cannot be injured in an auto accident of less than 12 mph. “

The fact is, only about 22% of auto injuries occur when impacts were greater than 12 mph and 60% of injuries happened in car accidents with the low speeds of 6-12 mph. Another 18% received soft tissue injury when impact was less the 6 mph.

FACT: It is possible to have a whiplash type injury even if your car has no structural damage (visible or otherwise).

Most cars are made to withstand a crash of 8-12 mph without any damage. More than half of all whiplash injuries happen without any damage to the vehicle.

MYTH 2: Whiplash symptoms will occur immediately after a car accident.

The fact is, sometimes an individual may have some pain immediately following a car accident, but it may take hours, days, weeks or possibly even months for symptoms of whiplash to occur. That is why it is imperative that anyone involved in a car accident to seek professional health care immediately to determine whether a whiplash injury has actually occurred.

FACT: Whiplash affects women more than men.

There are many factors that affect the severity and length of whiplash symptoms. Your age, whether you’re a man or a woman, even your physical condition and posture play a vital role. As the body gets older it starts to lose flexibility and strength in the neck. After this happens the neck can’t handle the extra strain from the collision force of an auto accident as well as someone in better physical condition.

Statistically speaking, women experience whiplash more than men. This is mainly due to the fact of stronger neck muscles that men have and that women have smaller neck bones. Poor posture at the time of the accident can worsen the whiplash injury. The healing process can be prolonged for smokers.  Each of these factors alone, or combined, can have a large impact on how severe your whiplash injury will be or the length of time it may take to recover from it.

MYTH 3: The only symptom of whiplash is neck pain.

The facts: there can be many symptoms in a whiplash injury. Neck pain, shoulder injury and upper back pain are just a few. The following injury statistical averages are eye opening: 92% of whiplash injuries cause neck pain. 57% suffer headaches, 56% fatigue, 49% shoulder pain, 44% anxiety, 42% upper back pain, 39% low back pain, 39% disturbed sleep, 26% decreased concentration. These are some, but not all, symptoms of whiplash injuries.

FACT: Chiropractic care is helpful in the treatment and recovery of whiplash.

If you are in a car accident you should be checked out as soon as possible by a chiropractor. You may not realize that you’ve sustained an auto accident injury. Whiplash injury can improve with chiropractic care.

A chiropractor will conduct an exam and may order x-rays and/or MRI’s to detect any “hidden” damage, complicating factors and any pre-existing condition. If a chiropractor does determine that a whiplash injury has occurred they may use a number treatment options to help work towards restoring normal function and reducing pain.

MYTH 4: There is nothing you can do to prevent whiplash injury.

There are steps you can take that can reduce or prevent the personal injury of whiplash during a car accident. One important tip is to check the position of your headrest on your car seat. Adjust the headrest to align to the back of your head… not down at the neck. This can help support your head from being snapped back and forth when involved in a car accident.  For an ideal headrest placement, the top of the head should be in line with the top of the headrest and there should be no more than 2 to 5 cm (or 0.8 to 2.0 inches) between the back of the head and the headrest.

The overall point is that if you have been involved in any type of auto accident that there is a great probability that you have sustained a whiplash injury or at the very least, a soft tissue injury (damage to muscle, tendons, and/or ligaments).

As a guideline, if your car has damage of any sort from an accident then your body may have injury damage too. The injury may not be obvious right away. It may show up much later causing long term or even permanent problems. The best advice is, regardless of the severity of a car accident, you should be checked out thoroughly by a health care professional as soon as possible.  Call your Maitland Chiropractor for an appointment today!

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