Whiplash is a type of neck injury most associated with rear-end car and truck collisions. It occurs when the head suddenly jerks backward and then forward.

Whiplash got its name because the body reacts much like the motion used when someone cracks a whip. The extreme movements of whiplash push neck muscles and ligaments far beyond their usual range of motion.

Experts agree that whiplash should be taken seriously, and those who have suffered from it should seek care immediately.

At Lakeside Sports Chiropractic Center & Motorsports Rehab in Cornelius on the shores of Lake Norman, Dr. Jennifer Lidstrom and her staff are experts in treating whiplash and returning patients to health as quickly as possible. Contact Lakeside Sports today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

The group ChiroTrust offers some important facts about whiplash you need to know:

  • When it comes to whiplash, rest can be your enemy: When people are injured, many will choose rest to ease the pain, fearful that too much activity will make the pain more intense. But even after just a few days of rest following an injury, injured and healthy muscles can stiffen and weaken. This can extend the healing process rather than shorten it. Many studies indicate that returning to your usual activity soon after injury prompts quicker healing and pain reduction. The longer you remain at rest, the higher your chances are of developing chronic pain and permanent physical problems. At Lakeside Sports, we can help guide your body, gradually, back to normal function. The key is not letting pain, or your fear of pain, prevent you from recovering from injury.
  •  Whiplash is not limited to car accidents: While car crashes make up the majority of whiplash incidents, they are not the only cause. Slipping or falling in an awkward way can cause whiplash, and whiplash injuries can occur during athletic contests and workouts — from football and soccer to boxing and gymnastics. Concussions and brain injuries also can occur during these activities. If you think you are injured or experience pain or dizziness, don’t be afraid to tell someone and seek medical help.
  • Your age can impact whiplash injuries: Senior citizens are more likely to suffer whiplash than younger folks. As we get older, our bodies lose flexibility in joints, tendons and muscles found in the neck. This decreases tissue’s ability to stretch and increases the chance of tissue injury. In addition, the cushions between vertebrae that act like shock absorbers lose water content, dry out and crack as we get older. This decline combined with osteoarthritis in joints leads to a reduction in cervical range of motion.
  • Women are more likely to suffer whiplash then men: Women typically have less strength and neck muscle mass than men. This is even more the case in women with slender necks, and older women with slender necks are very vulnerable to whiplash injuries.
  • Don’t tough it out: Most crash victims with neck pain feel it immediately, but others may not feel pain for hours or days after an accident. Although many may feel an injury is not serious enough to seek medical attention, it’s better to get checked out as soon as possible rather than trying to deal with the pain and suffer in silence. Studies indicate the longer someone waits to seek treatment, the longer their recovery will be. In many instances, neck pain gradually gets better within a month or two, but not always. The chances of successfully treating whiplash decrease the longer pain remains, especially if pain lasts longer than six months.
  • Symptoms range from headache and fatigue to pain in the shoulder, fuzzy vision, dizzy spells, difficulty concentrating and communicating, and even experiencing a tough time sleeping or swallowing.

Don’t wait to get help if you believe you are suffering from whiplash. Delaying care can lead to chronic problems and loss of quality of life.