Whiplash caused by automobile accidents and what to know about your treatment options.
A motor vehicle accident can be very traumatic, but the effects of such an injury can be longer lasting than initially assumed, and symptoms may not even seem to occur for months following the initial injury. The Second Law of Motion states that if an unbalanced force acts on a body, that body will experience acceleration ( or deceleration), that is, a change of speed. A whiplash injury is a transfer of force from the car to your neck and potentially other parts of your body. At impact, our body braces itself, reducing normal range of motion. However, the force of impact, as described by Newton, flexes and extends the neck beyond its normal range, thus injuring tissue and causing acute and eventual chronic symptoms. This is why even at speeds as low as 5mph there can be significant injury to the spine and therefore even seemingly mild motor vehicle accidents need to be taken seriously.
Symptoms are often not experienced immediately after the whiplash injury, thus lessening the patient’s initial assessment of the severity during the whiplash event. In addition, there is an increased likelihood one can experience a concussion aka mild traumatic brain injury in conjunction with the whiplash. This is why it is important that your doctor is assessing neurological function as well following a motor vehicle collision.