When a vehicle is stopped and a vehicle behind it cannot stop before impact, even if the impact is made at low-speed, there is potentially an effect on the body, neck and head of the driver and passengers in the forward, stopped vehicle. It is called whiplash, a condition in which the impact causes a forward thrust of the body with a delay of the neck and head before they, too, thrust forward.
This delay is as a result of the reduced mass of the neck and head compared to the body, and the fact that the neck is a flexible joint between the body and head. Therefore, while the base of the neck pitches forward with the body, the neck flexes and the head is first thrown back, then milliseconds later, is thrown forward, following the whipping action of the body and lower neck.
At the time of the accident, do not assume that if you feel no pain, there will be no pain that occurs later. Whiplash can occur with an accident in which the trailing car is traveling at less than 10 miles per hour.
The result of whiplash is often a gradually increasing sensation of pain, typically in the neck and shoulders. However, depending on the severity of the accident, the pain may migrate as far as the lower back and it may not be fully evident for a day or so after the accident.
If you are involved in a whiplash-inducing accident, even if you do not feel pain immediately after the accident, it is a good idea to make an appointment for a consultation with an auto accident chiropractor in the Louisville area. Call (502)200-1259
Here are some suggestions to prepare for that initial consultation:
– The pain is likely to be delayed before its full effect registers, but it may have peaked by the time of the consultation. In the meantime, take careful note of the progress of pain, how long it takes to develop, how long to its fullest sensation, where it is felt in general, and where it is most acute.
– Have information from the police report of the accident. Where was your car hit? What was the speed of the trailing vehicle? Where you sitting, what was your body position and how was your body situated after impact?
– Determine what specific movement, if any, increases the pain and if that increased pain endures. How long does it take to dissipate?
– Will your chiropractor use MyoVision to gage muscle tension in your neck, spine and lower back? This will present a graphic indicator of muscle or connective tissue damage even if it does not exhibit pain.
– Will follow-up treatments be required? This will typically be the case, but it is best to know up front for insurance claims purposes what the duration and expectation of treatments will be.
No one wants to consider that an auto accident is in their future, but it is best to be prepared with the necessities of treating any injuries that may result, particularly if there are no apparent injuries immediately after an accident.