William S. Thatcher, DC
Chiropractor located in Baldwin, NY
Auto Injuries Q &A
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a severe injury that affects the lower portion of the skull, the neck, and the shoulders. It is most commonly associated with auto injuries and slip and fall accidents. In a car accident, the head and body travel at the same speed as the vehicle until a crash occurs. The body stops with the car because of the seat belt, but the head continues forward at the same rate of speed. When it can no longer move forward, it is violently jerked backward, straining all of the connective and soft tissues. Because the head is only supported by the neck, it will continue to move in whatever direction the body was moving at the time of impact. This type of injury is extremely painful and will result in immediate and sometimes long-term stabilization of the neck.
Why Does it Take a Day or More for Auto Injuries to Appear?
Auto injuries can take two or three days to make themselves fully known. The reason for this is the release of adrenaline after an auto accident has occurred. Adrenaline blocks the pain signals that are being sent to the brain. This is the result of the "fight or flight" mechanism that is built into the brain. It is a defense mechanism that gives the body a boost of energy during times when there is a potential risk of danger. Over the next day or two, the adrenaline begins to dissipate, allowing the pain signals to resume traveling to the brain. Many people do not seek medical attention after an auto accident because they do not feel any pain. Even if the person feels no pain, they should still be seen by a physician to ensure there are no major injuries.
How Long Does it Take for the Injuries From an Auto Accident to Heal?
In most cases, the soft tissue and blunt force trauma injuries received in an auto accident will be healed within s weeks. More serious injuries, like whiplash and lower back pain, may take two to three months to heal, depending on their severity. Receiving quality medical care from an emergency room or a chiropractor will help to identify the exact injuries as well as their severity. A chiropractor can begin to treat most injuries at the first visit. By returning the musculoskeletal structure to its original position, the pain and inflammation can be minimized. While it may take several adjustments to achieve sufficient healing, the bones and soft tissues will heal where they belong, resulting in fewer complications.