Chiropractic, Whiplash and Neck pain

Chiropractors provide most of the care for whiplash associated neck pain in the US. As a general rule the base of the neck is the most susceptible to injury in a rear end collision. This is due to the fact that the lower vertebrae of the neck do most of the flexion and extension of the neck. The area of greatest injury to the neck in a whiplash is the 4th and 5th cervical verebrae. One study showed that disc injuries were most common in the middle and lower parts of the cervical spine (neck).
Lower back pain is a common injury in a whiplash as well. One study showed that 57% of persons involved in an auto accident had some degree of lower back pain. Broadside collisions seems to have a higher than average incidence of lower back pain as well. In side impact collisions the seat belt tends to be a factor in lower back pain. It has been shown that wearing only lap belts is a factor for increased injury to the lower back in side impact car accidents.
Head restraints have also not been shown to decrease the incidence of neck injury. The design of the back of the seat has been the most beneficial part of seat design to reduce neck injury. Most headrests are also improperly adjusted. The headrest should be directly behind the head.
Seat belts have been shown to be safe for pregnant women. Children seem to be especially prone to seat belt injury due to the fact that the seat belt is not designed to fit them properly.
One large study showed that drivers wearing seat belts were up to three times as likely to experience minor neck injury than those not wearing seat belts. The main reason that seat belts increase the incidence of neck injury is that the shoulder portion of the belt causes the neck to whip forward unrestrained in the deceleration phase of a rear end collision whiplash. The shoulder belt causes much greater forced bending of the neck on the deceleration phase.
Most auto insurance policies have a personal injury protection segment that covers the cost of Chiropractic care. Even minor accidents that do not significantly damage a vehicle can cause a minor neck injury. For mild whiplash injuries the current recommendation is 21 Chiropractic treatments.

About drtom

I help people through chiropractic care and acupuncture.
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