Motor vehicle crashes account for six million injuries every year. Of these, about 50% or three million victims will sustain whiplash injuries. Chronic pain, particularly in the neck, will develop among 500,000 to 900,000 of these patients. Even in a car crash involving low force, where the speeds can be no faster than 5 miles per hour, anyone can suffer from whiplash injury.
It’s just not possible to be able to always prevent accidents, including car accidents. They say that accidents happen when we least expect them. While there is truth to this observation, we can, in fact, use it to our benefit. Realizing that car accidents can happen anytime, we must be ready, take preventive actions and be constantly alert for any impending accidents. Doing this will, at the very least, mitigate the effects of serious car accidents, which could include whiplash injury.
How Can Whiplash be Prevented?
We know that chiropractors can provide the best treatment for whiplash injury. Chiropractic care can effectively relieve the pain from whiplash, help patients restore their mobility and allow them to achieve fast recovery, enabling them to return to their normal way of life. The chiropractic profession through the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) advocates prevention of injury and minimizing its adverse effects. Here are the suggestions from ACA on ways to prevent whiplash and effectively minimize pain and discomfort in a whiplash eventuality:
Choose a safe car.
When buying a car, compare vehicle features that relate to safety, including vehicle size, weight, structural design and restraint systems and other safety features – shoulder and lap belts, head restraints, air bags, and crash avoidance feature. Consider the vehicle’s crash worthiness. You are at a greater risk with small cars compared to bigger, heavier vehicles. Also, check the safety ratings of the vehicle you intend to buy. The Insurance Institute Highway Safety and other professional safety organizations are good online resources for this check.
Set and keep head rests in their proper positions.
Head rests must be set in the “up” position, in the level of the head. Data shows that the head restraints of 80% of cars are adjusted in the “low” position, which is even more dangerous than not having any head restraint.
Have a medical or chiropractic check regardless of the damage to the vehicle.
It has been observed that whiplash injuries are more common when there is no damage to the vehicle compared to when the vehicle sustained damages. The reason for this is that the crushed parts of the vehicle absorb and use up the energy and is, therefore, not transmitted to the driver or passengers. Even if there is big or little damage to your vehicle, it is best to visit a chiropractor and have your spine evaluated.
Be prepared for a crash.
If you have even very little time to prepare, be alert and follow these tips:
Place your head, neck and body in contact with the back of the seat and the properly positioned head rest restraints.
Have a good grip on the steering wheel with your arms straight.
Hit the brake pedal with your foot as strongly as you can.
Look straight ahead and do not turn your body in any direction.
Raise your neck slightly, so your eyesight level is up, about the level of the windshield top.
Scrunch your shoulders and brace for impact.
Get treatment immediately.
Do not delay seeking immediate treatment even though the symptoms do not appear early. It is important to begin treatment of the whiplash within two weeks period after the accident. Seek a doctor who has experience and specialization in whiplash injuries.
Follow the doctor’s advice.
Do what the doctor advises whether it is chiropractic care, massage, physical therapy, exercise, nutrition, proper pillows, or ergonomic workstations. The doctor has dealt with whiplash and knows the steps to be done for effective healing.
Mind the ergonomic aspects of your work and in the home.
The proper positions and conditions in the work, sleep and everyday activities are factors that can contribute to early healing. Follow your doctor’s advice on these areas for improved relief and timely recovery.
Being mentally prepared and taking the necessary precautions to prevent whiplash in a vehicular accident can help keep you safe and injury-free.
It is little surprise that you may have an aching back. Statistics tell us that 80% of the population will be afflicted with back pain at a certain point in their life.
Back pain is one of the vertebrogenic disorders, which are disorders of the body caused in part or in whole by spinal faults. Unlike other vertebrogenic conditions that are seemingly unrelated to the spine, such as tension headaches, pain in the arms, shoulders, knees and legs, certain digestive problems and issues with menstrual cycle, back pain can be easily associated with the spine as it emanates from the very areas where the spine is. As with the other vertebrogenic disorders, back pain is caused by spinal anomalies that directly or indirectly irritate the nerves.
When to Get Chiropractor Help
It is a wise idea to visit a chiropractor for consultation and examination if you suffer from pain, including back pain. It becomes even more imperative to do this if home remedy or self-care is not helping you relieve your symptoms and discomfort. Most musculoskeletal pains are caused by misalignments in the spine structures, and they are the chiropractors’ specialty. If your back pain is caused by subluxation, any treatment, including drugs, lotions, potions, massage, surgery or other therapies cannot be relied upon to eliminate the pain. Chiropractic care can remove subluxation or misalignment in your spine if it is the source of your pain, and your back pain will be addressed. It will avoid all sorts of potentially dangerous and complicated medical interventions. Pain killing medications are good in providing temporary relief to the pain but they do not tackle the main issue or the root of the problem. They are also likely to cause side effects when used long-term. Surgery is the last therapy you would want for your back pain. It is invasive, complicated, painful and costly.
Chiropractic treatment is a therapy, which is undoubtedly, most effective for chronic or long-term back pain and sub acute back pain, or a back pain condition persisting for three months or less.
Many spinal problems have their origin from childhood, long before clinical symptoms manifest. When identified early, these disorders are mostly reversible and can be treated. That is why spinal examinations even for children are necessary. Other reasons in relation to your back pain to consider visiting a chiropractor are the following:
- When you have been injured in your work or in a vehicular accident and are bothered by the pain
- If you are active in sports and you have stiff joints and pains after the game
- When you are pregnant and have an aching back
- When you are getting older and pains are preventing you from enjoying retirement
- When your job requires either very long hours of sitting or strenuous activity like lifting loads, is taking its tolls on your back
If you have other specific problems or symptoms that go with your back pain, be sure to tell your chiropractor about it and do not hesitate to ask questions. This will let both of you to make appropriate decisions for your treatment and prepare the best treatment plan for you.
Chiropractors themselves will not let you undergo chiropractic adjustments if you have any of these conditions that go with your back pain:
- Bone tumors or bone fractures
- Severe arthritis
- Infections of the bones or joints
- Severe osteoporosis or bone loss
A good chiropractor is your indispensable partner to your spinal and general health and wellbeing. Chiropractic care is to spine health what dentistry is to dental health. You should take good care of your spine before it’s too late.