Whiplash is defined as the movement that head makes – first backwards and then forward – when a rear shock occurs. Then the body is thrown violently forward and the head cannot be sustained by the muscles of the neck. They are immediately left behind when the vehicle stops or slows and the head is projected forwardly while the body is being held back by the seat belt. If you have experienced whiplash, you should see a Back Specialist in Conroe TX immediately.
Degree of injury
Each case is unique in itself because there are many factors that can vary: the age, the incident, the manner in which it’s addressed and rheumatic diseases. Doctors will also take a look at ligaments and intervertebral discs, the impact direction and speed at the time of the accident. Depending on these factors you may have whiplash or just a simple muscle injury. The classification of the degree of whiplash injuries are internationally accepted:
- Grade 0: No signs / symptoms or neck pain.
- Grade I: Neck pain or stiffness without physical signs (no objectified clinical signs).
- Grade II neck pain with loss of range of movement or tender points on palpation.
- Grade III: Neck symptoms and neurological signs such as decreased or absent deep sensory reflexes, weakness or sensory deficits are present.
- Grade IV: Cervical fracture or dislocation is present. Not considered a whiplash and surgical treatment is necessary.
Unfortunately, seat belts do not provide effective protection against this type of injury. While the headrest can provide a limited degree of protection, most are not adjustable. Some car companies are putting in their safest headrests in the latest models, and these help when the body presses back in an accident, causing the head restraints to move forward and upward. In addition, some are reversible and are set automatically if a rear collision (in a pile-up) happens. Its effectiveness is even greater if the belts have pretensioners to limit displacement of the body.
It may be that the pain associated with whiplash disappears when the muscles and ligaments heal, but when it affects intervertebral disc, it is not so easy. Different body parts take different amounts of time and different techniques to heal. To avoid problems in the future it’s absolutely necessary visit a qualified professional, like a Back Specialist in Conroe TX.
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