Whiplash and Chiropractic

Whiplash is the common term for most all injuries to the neck and back originating from car accidents. Chiropractors provide most of the care for whiplash sufferers in the US.
The term whiplash was coined early in the 20th century as cars became more popular and widespread. As the design of cars has changed so has their ability to protect the occupant from injury. One of the most controversial aspects of modern whiplash care is low speed collisions that cause whiplash without any damage to the vehicle. It has been found that the head and neck can be subject to as much as four times the acceleration forces of the vehicle itself in rear impact accidents. When a larger vehicle strikes a smaller vehicle it also is able to produce much higher injuries to the occupant of the smaller car. This is an important point in todays world where the Mega SUV shares the road with small subcompact vehicles. Smaller cars have smaller crush zones as well which act to absorb impact. Seat belts have been tremendously successful in preventing head injuries but have also been found to increase the forces applied to the head and neck during accidents. One study found that pregnant women do not risk the health of the fetus by wearing seat belts. Children under a certain age are at higher risk due to the seatbelt fitting them poorly. The main reason seat belts subject a driver to higher risk of whiplash is that they anchor the torso while allowing the neck and head to flex forward during impact. Air bags and not designed to deploy in rear impact collisions and offer little protection in the case of a rear impact whiplash event.The minimum speed found to be the threshold for neck injury is quite low. 5 mph has been found to be the threshold of injury in some people. Usually a 5 mph impact produces very limited damage to a vehicle (if any at all). Women are also much more likely to have extended problems with rear impact collisions due to lower muscle mass and strength.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor with over ten year of practice experience treating back pain, neck pain and whiplash injury. Dr. Etter is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and currently practices in Lenexa, Kansas.

About drtom

I help people through chiropractic care and acupuncture.
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