Wednesday, 22nd November 2017
HEALTH & WELL BEING Article
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This Month's Magazine
Whiplash and Neck Injuries

Whiplash and Neck Injuries

As the roads on which we drive become more crowded and dangerous it seems almost inevitable that at some stage we or someone we are close to will become involved in a 'shunt'. This can very often result in a 'whiplash' injury.

by Dr Timothy Errington, Chiropractor

Whiplash in itself is not actually a condition like, perhaps, arthritis but more a word to describe how injury occurred. When someone tells you that they have suffered a whiplash injury they are saying that their spine, and it is usually more specifically the head and neck, was unexpectedly and forcefully thrown in one direction and then ebounded very quickly in the other. Their head was in effect 'whipped' from one way to another on the neck. Usually this occurs in the forward and backward directions but it can also happen from the side. It can be further complicated by any rotations of the neck which can make the resulting damage more severe.
Most incidences of whiplash misalign the cervical vertebrae causing damage or stress to the joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves and/or discs. Chiropractors, who are specialists in spinal conditions, call this whiplash - a severe form of 'subluxation' or spinal misalignment that can have detrimental effects on the nervous system. Whiplash can lead to many different symptoms. Straight after the accident there can be pain or stiffness, with a headache possibly occurring soon after. Pain, numbness, tingling or pins-and-needles between the shoulder blades, down the arms or in the hands, may develop.


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If certain nerves are damaged, tinnitus or ringing in the ears, dizziness, earing loss, blurred vision or sensitivity to light, nasal problems, low back pain or even visceral or internal organ problems can manifest.
alignment and to help them to return to full function. Someone who has been in an accident should first make sure that there is no medical emergency such as broken bones, haemorrhage or damage to internal organs. Once the person nvolved is deemed fit he resumes his normal life. However, often the spine has not completely healed and subluxations persist. The damage to the joints, discs, nerves, vertebrae etc. will not entirely go away by itself if the spinal misalignments are not corrected. Serious conditions may result later and arthritis and disc problems are but two conditions that may develop years after the accident.
Chiropractors are trained to detect and correct these problems early. This is important as over 50% of sufferers may continue to experience pain and/or a degree of disability for many years after the accident.
A person involved in trauma such as whiplash should, as soon as they are stable, be examined by a chiropractor to ensure correct spinal



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