After being involved in an automobile accident, the irritating pain and stiffness in the neck which affects many individuals at the time of the collision, could have longer lasting effects than many anticipate. Whiplash is the most frequent result of a car crash, although it may occur during a variety of other incidents. Nevertheless, this common neck injury can lead to significant complications on the surrounding, complex tissues of the neck, if left untreated.
Whiplash occurs when the muscles and ligaments of the neck stretch further than their average range of motion. While symptoms of neck injury may not occur instantly, it’s essential to keep a close watch over any physical changes which may result following the accident and seek medical attention as soon as possible to properly diagnose the presence of any other spinal complications. Although whiplash is considered a relatively mild condition, it can cause long-term pain and discomfort.
During an auto collision, the sudden force of the impact causes an individual’s head to abruptly move back-and-forth in any direction, depending on the type of car crash. The rapid flexion and extension of the neck pulls and extends the muscles, straining the soft tissues around the cervical spine, occasionally causing them to tear.
Weakened Ligaments after Whiplash
After several years of research, it’s evident that the spinal ligaments can be stretched and/or torn during an automobile accident. Prior research has shown that the anterior longitudinal ligaments, the transverse ligaments, and the facet capsules, found within the neck, can be damaged or injured even in minor crashes.
Whiplash Research & Results
New research from Yale University pursued to understand the exact nature of whiplash-type injuries to determine its effect on the human body. Researchers conducted the study by evaluating six cadaver spines which had previously been exposed to simulated rear-end collisions. The spines were then carefully examined to closely analyze the damage of each of the individual ligaments. The researchers then compared the state of the whiplash spinal ligaments to the formerly collected data of normal, non-injured spines.
The authors of the research distinguished a variety of characteristics from the whiplash-exposed ligaments apart from those of the control ligaments. Ultimately, the authors found that the ligaments exposed to damage or injury from whiplash were in fact significantly weaker than the control specimens. Throughout the study, researchers observed considerable decreases in ligament strength following whiplash, supporting the ligament-injury hypothesis of whiplash syndrome. According to the study, evidence suggests that the weakening of the ligaments resulting from auto injuries may furthermore lead to altered joint motion, leading to compression of the joint tissues. This compression is frequently what leads to inflammation, pain, and accelerated degeneration of the joint tissue, resulting in osteoarthritis of the neck and other complications.
This study is the first to show that the individual ligaments of the spine are weakened after a whiplash-type injury. After being involved in an automobile accident, the debilitating and impairing symptoms associated with neck injury can alter an individual’s lifestyle, especially if the condition is left untreated and the symptoms worsen.
Chiropractic care is an effective, alternative treatment option commonly used to treat whiplash-associated disorders. Once diagnosed with neck injury, the individual will usually receive a series of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, together with a set of appropriate stretches and exercises, focusing to rehabilitate and restore the original state of the injured structures within the neck. Time and patience is essential towards achieving a complete recovery from a variety of automobile injuries through chiropractic care.
For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.elpasochiropractorblog.com
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