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Winter Driving: More Than Just a Pain in the Neck
During the hectic winter driving season, sudden stop and go traffic can play havoc on your nerves as well as cause injury to your neck. Car accidents and sudden stops can result in the sprain-strain of the neck, commonly known as whiplash.
The ligaments that help support, protect, and restrict excessive movement of the vertebrae are torn, which is called a sprain. The joints in the back of the spine are covered by ligaments which are particularly susceptible to whiplash injury. Adding insult to injury, the muscles and tendons are strained and sometimes stretched beyond their normal limits.
Pain and stiffness in the neck are the most common symptoms of whiplash. However, some patients also experience dizziness, difficulty swallowing, nausea, and even blurred vision after a whiplash injury. Others will even complain of irritability, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. While many symptoms resolve quickly, in rare cases symptoms can persist for weeks, months, or even years.
Another important and interesting aspect of whiplash is that the signs and symptoms often do not develop until 2 to 48 hours after the injury. The long term effect of going untreated can mean chronic body aches and pain, serious neck injury and spinal degeneration.
Ice and/or heat are often used to help control pain and reduce the muscle spasm that results from whiplash injuries. However, chiropractors are trained to diagnosis and treat many of the injuries that are typically associated with whiplash.
The most effective treatment for whiplash injuries is a combination of chiropractic care, rehabilitation of the soft tissues and taking care of yourself at home as directed by your Doctor of Chiropractic. To find an MCA member Doctor of Chiropractic in your area, click here.