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Whiplash! Here are the facts.


No we are not talking about the Oscar wining movie that came out in 2014 (Great movie IMO).  We are talking about what happens to the neck and spine during an auto accident.


Whiplash is severe hyperflexion and a subsequent whip-like hyperextension motion.

If you were to watch this is slow motion you would see a person’s chin actually touch their chest and then slam back into the head rest with tremendous force.

It’s no wonder that this event is bad for your spine!


There are 16,000,000  auto accidents every year in the United States

and whiplash happen in the vast majority of them.  I have added the link to a video of a police demonstration at a college as to what just a 5 mph accident looked and felt like.

This would be considered by most people to be “just” a fender bender.  Most people in this situation would likely just drive on and not think twice about it.

Think of a whiplash (hyperflexion/hyperextension injury) as being similar to an ankle sprain, with different levels of severity. When you sprain your ankle the ligaments are damaged, and over stretched.  Ligaments are like rubber bands.  What happens to rubber bands when they are over stretched?  They don’t return back to their normal shape, stability, and strength.  The same thing happens to ligaments and this is why ankle joint rehab is very important if you want your ankle to fully heal.

How many of you reading this have sprained an ankle, especially when you were a kid, and tied your shoe tighter and just kept on playing.  Maybe you iced it, maybe some Tylenol, but never fully rehabbed it, and that ankle till this day is not the same?  Maybe it still hurts when you run, makes clicking noises, or ever leads to knee pain on the same side?


This same situation may arise in your neck when those neck ligaments are over stretched due to the extreme motions during a whip lash injury.   This is why neck and spine rehab are very important after a car accident.


How do you know if you have experience whiplash?


The answer is simple.  If you were in a car accident, you had a whip lash, and there are different degrees of this.

Some possible symptoms of whiplash include but are not limited to…

  1. Neck Pain
  2. Neck Stiffness
  3. Headache
  4. Back Pain
  5. Back Stiffness
  6. Pain into the shoulders and Arms
  7. Throat pain
  8. Jaw Pain
  9. Dizziness
  10. Light headed


Chiropractors have been helping people heal properly from whiplash since the invention of the automobile.  With a series of adjustments, rehab, therapy, and exercises your chiropractor will help you heal those neck ligaments that were damaged so that this car accident will not be an issue for you long term.


Chiropractic helps you fully heal from a car accident.  Simple as that!


Ben Fonke, DC

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