March 14, 2011
Fender-benders: worry about your neck, not your bumper
Your head sits atop of your neck like an upright pendulum. Without notice, a car slams into your rear bumper. Your head extends forward, then immediately backward as your neck compensates for the sudden movement. In this split second, the ligaments, tendons, and nerves in your neck can all be torn instantaneously. Occurrences like this happen thousands of times each day. Even after all the paperwork has been accounted for and the car has been fixed, whiplash still remains.
Car accidents are one of the many causes of whiplash; other cases may be a result of sports injuries, or a serious fall. However, with an abundance of motorists on the road each year, the risk of being in a whiplash-related accident is a high probability. The slightest impact in a car can result in neck and cervical distress. "An 8mph car collision produces two times the force of gravity (or a G-2) deceleration of the car, and a 5-G deceleration of the head. This unnatural and forceful movement affects the muscles and ligaments in the neck, stretching, and potentially tearing them." Anyone that experiences pain after an accident should not ignore the symptoms.