Whiplash is Costly, Painful, and isn’t Limited to Neck and Head Injuries

Touching her aching back neckNo matter how safe you drive, accidents could still happen. When a car is rear-ended, there’s a high probability of injury to the driver and its passengers. The resulting injuries can be a whiplash or any other spinal or lumbar injury. Neck and spine experts like Apollo Health recommend undergoing whiplash treatments in Utah immediately, especially if you experience pain due to such accidents.

The Nature of Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when a vehicle is rear-ended by another vehicle with sufficient force. Typically, the threshold is 15 kilometers per hour, but there is significantly more damage when the other vehicle is heavier like a truck or pickup.

During a crash, the seat hits the body at a rapid speed, with the head position increasing vertically, while the spine and neck compresses. The head then strikes the seat and the neck hyperextends, injuring the tissues of the front of the neck. The body rebounds and moves forward from the seat and the head accelerates forward.

As you (or your passenger) are supposedly wearing a seatbelt, it restrains you from being thrown forward. However, the head continues to move forward, which leads to hyperflexion that injures the tissues of the back of the neck. Without the restraint of the seatbelt, you could be thrown forward and be more injured.

Escalating Costs

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are about 806,000 instances of whiplash injuries involving passengers in motor vehicle crashes. This has resulted in an estimated $9 billion in annual economic costs as well as in lowered quality of life. Since the 1960s, there have been many studies about rear-end car crashes in both engineering and medicine. This has resulted in developments in car safety and technology, but incidents of whiplash continue to increase.

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One problem about whiplash is its effects don’t manifest immediately. Some whiplash symptoms appear only after a couple of weeks or even months. These include cervical pain, lumbar/sacral, thoracic, upper extremities/shoulder, head, lower extremities/hip, and chest/abdominal pain.

Conditions, which resulted from the car crash, include:

  • spinal problems (disk bulging and herniation)
  • spinal narrowing
  • vertebral spurring
  • disc disease
  • joint disease
  • radicular symptoms
  • abnormal spinal structure or abnormal spinal curvature

It’s important that these above-mentioned injuries are diagnosed and treated immediately.

Not all whiplash injuries are diagnosed immediately, and its incidence is increasing in number even with all the studies today concerning vehicle safety. It’s best to be safe than sorry, so make sure to ask for an expert’s advice.