Auto accidents are the leading cause of

Auto accidents are the leading cause of whiplash. Up to 83% of people involved in an accident will suffer a whiplash injury. The extent of your injury can be predicted by several factors. Patients who are struck from behind in a rear-end collision generally suffer the most injury. Being struck by a larger or heavier vehicle also increases your risk. Your vehicle does not need to be visibly damaged in order for you to be injured. In fact, the amount of damage to your vehicle has little relationship to your injuries. Rear-end impacts of less than 5 MPH routinely give rise to significant symptoms.

Other factors that increase your chance of injury include: improperly positioned head restraints, wet or icy roads, having your head rotated or extended at the time of impact, and being unaware of the impending collision. As we age, our tissues become less elastic, and our risk of injury increases.

Symptoms may begin immediately or have a delayed onset. Initially, you may notice some soreness in the front of your neck that generally fades quickly. Ongoing complaints often include dull neck pain that becomes sharper when you move your head. The pain is generally centered in the back of your neck but can spread to your shoulders or between your shoulder blades. Symptoms may increase over time. Rest may relieve your symptoms but often leads to stiffness.

Sprain/strain injuries cause your normal healthy elastic tissue to be replaced with less elastic “scar tissue.” This process can lead to ongoing pain and even arthritis. Over half of those who are injured will have neck pain up to a year after their accident. Seeking early and appropriate treatment, like the type provided in our office, is critical. If you are riding with others, it is quite possible that they too were injured. It would be in every passenger’s best interest to be examined as soon as possible.

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