Accidents happen. A shoe heel gets caught on a piece of loose carpet, a foot slips on an icy step, a car gets rear-ended at a stop light. Even if we walk away with no broken bones or lost limbs, it can still be a painful experience that requires chiropractic attention.
Anyone who has ever been in a car accident, or taken a hard fall, can attest that the initial jolt of pain pales in comparison to the soreness we feel in the hours or days that follow. That’s because the symptoms of soft tissue damage can take time to develop. The neck and back are the most vulnerable parts of your body when it comes to this type of personal injury.
Personal injuries to the neck muscles and associated ligaments caused by the head suddenly jolting forward, backwards, or sideways is called whiplash. Most cases of whiplash are related to car accidents, but it can also happen in the course of a fall. The danger of whiplash lies in the fact that its symptoms are not always immediately evident, so many people don’t get treated until some secondary complication has arisen.
For many years, it was next to impossible to definitively diagnose soft tissue damage, because those types of injuries did not show up on x-rays. All doctors had to go on was the patient’s word. In the case of a fall or a car accident, insurance companies were loathe to accept the patient’s word, because they didn’t want to have to pay the medical claim. Today, technology has advanced to the point where definitive diagnoses can be made using digital imaging devices such as CAT Scans or magnetic imaging.
Typically, the first symptom of whiplash tends to be neck pain. Other symptoms can include headache, shoulder pain, dizziness, jaw pain, and fatigue. Any time you suffer a fall or get into a car accident severe enough to cause body damage to your car, you should immediately get checked out by a chiropractor. If there is soft tissue damage, a personalized treatment plan will be devised based on your specific injuries.