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1. What are the signs and symptoms of whiplash?

There a number of signs and symptoms of whiplash and these are a few examples:  

Headaches Neck Pain Back Pain Arm Pain Leg Pain
Numbness Tingling Achy Dizziness Hearing Changes
Pain Bruises Forgetful Nausea Vision Changes
Swelling Weakness Irritable Fatigue Jaw Pain
Sciatica Cramps Spasms Insomnia Weakness

2. Why are some people hurt more than others when they are in the same accident?

There are many different factors to consider when a car accident occurs and someone is injured.  Factors to consider are their position in the car, their age, their current state of health, past injuries, preexisting conditions, where the vehicle was hit, the speed of both vehicles, and the types of vehicles involved.  There are many variables that play a role in the severity of injury sustained. 

3. Is everyone in a car accident injured?

Some people in the accident may not be injured, but if there is ever any question if an injury or unusual symptom may be related, they should be properly evaluated by a doctor to find out the severity of their injury or symptom.

4. Why does my car have little or no damage, but I am in pain?

The amount of pain or discomfort that you are experiencing is not related to the amount of damage to your vehicle.  Vehicles are designed to absorb impact from an accident, the human body is not.  You most likely have a soft tissue injury and you need a doctor who is trained in evaluating and treating soft tissue injuries to properly diagnose and appropriately treat the injuries to prevent possible long term problems in the future.

5. Can children get whiplash?

Unfortunately children can be overlooked when after an accident because they may not say anything about being hurt.  They should be check by a doctor after an auto accident to make sure there are no injuries that could affect them for the rest of their lives.  If the child is injured they can definitely benefit from treatment.

6. What if my symptoms did not start right after the car accident?

Symptoms don’t always start immediately after a car accident.  They may take a few days, weeks or even months to be felt or recognized.  Even if you notice symptoms immediately they may change or may migrate into other areas of your body.  This can change by the month, week, day, hour and minute.  The severities of symptoms typically present like a roller coaster some days they are worse and other days better.

7. My body still hurts even though my accident happened a few months or even years ago.  Why?

Often times there may have been injuries that did not properly heal.  Once a tissue in your body is injured it does not have the same strength to support the body the way it was before the accident.  Certain injuries to muscles and ligaments can cause the body’s aging process to accelerate and wear down at a quicker rate, which can cause chronic problems.

8. I had x-rays or other imaging taken and my tests came back normal, but I am in pain how can this be?

Often times the injuries that are sustained are not broken bones or other serious types of trauma.  Because the body was “whipped around” in the accident, the soft tissues or muscles, ligaments and tendons often are injured from this whipping action.  Pain is an obvious sign of injury and inflammation these should not be overlooked.  Only a doctor of chiropractic is trained to analyze the spine for proper alignment.  Most emergency room doctors and family medicine doctors are looking for broken bones, however when the doctor with the proper training evaluates the proper x-rays there are other injuries that can be seen.

9. How long does it take to heal from whiplash?

Each person injured in a car accident that has whiplash will undoubtedly have a different severity of injury.  Whiplash itself is a sprain of ligaments and/or a strain of muscles.  These types of injuries when given the proper therapies and treatment typically take at least 6 weeks to more than 12 weeks to heal.  Some injuries may heal faster and others may take longer to heal, there are many variables that can affect the healing process.  To make sure that the body heals the quickest with minimal scar tissue build up, the proper treatments need to be performed to make sure that future problems will be less severe.  The healing process has different phases that take place as the body is repairing itself.

10. When my symptoms are gone does that mean that I am healed?

No, your symptoms are the first thing to start to disappear as the body is healing.  The three phases below describe the different stages the healing process goes through in recovery.

Inflammatory Phase-Phase One

This occurs in the first 72 hours and is your body’s first response to injury.

Repair Phase-Phase Two

Depending on the severity this can take 6 weeks-12 weeks or more.  This is where your body is creating scar tissue to mend the injured tissues.

Remodeling Phase-Phase Three

This happens after the first two phases and takes about one year from the end of the repair phase.  This is where scar tissue can be remodeled to become stronger and more functional.

11. What can I do if I have questions about my accident, whether it is concerning my insurance or my injuries/symptoms?

If you feel that this is a life threatening emergency please call 911.  Otherwise, call us at 303-670-7777 and let us be a resource for you.