One of the most compelling problems we face each year are patients with severe neck and headache pains. I have found that over half of these patients have a history of a whiplash car accident, that went untreated.
Now, when I say "untreated" what I mean is they went to a GP, who typically does a basic neck x-ray, and rules out any fractures. They prescribe pain medication or muscle relaxers and send the patient on their way.
The patient, thinking nothing of it, will assume the problem is minor and moves on with life.
What they don't realize, is at the moment of impact, nerve tissue and ligaments surrounding the back of the neck, have been damaged. That's why there is pain or stiffness or both for the first 10 days of a minor or major rear-end collision. However, since they are taking medication for the pain, the patient never notices a problem.
During a rear-end collision, the damage is done after 300 milliseconds. That's why a person is in a mild form of shock after being hit. That usually wears off within an hour or two. The swelling starts over the next 3 days, but is rarely felt, due to medication.
It is after this point that the problems begin. The neck never gets re-aligned to it's proper position, and over a months to over a few years, begins the journey to debilitating pain and arthritis.
In my 20 years of treating this problem, this is usually 90% of my 50-60 year old group of patient's major complaints, often the result of a minor fender-bender when they were in their 20's or 30's.
So my advice to ANY person involved even in a MINOR rear-end collision is to seek out proper diagnostics, and document every area of your spine that hurts. And then get it treated. I have found that Chiropractors are the only ones that truly do a thorough job of this, which is why I would recommend them first. Because unfortunately like an old TV commercial once stated, "You can see me now, or see me later". Later usually means a lifetime dealing with chronic pain - which as you can see, is totally avoidable if caught early enough by the right diagnostician.
Dr. Dreessen has been treating people with Neck Pain and Whiplash symptoms from car Injuries in the Puget Sound area for over 20 years. For more information about what you can do to for your neck pain, visit www.washington-auto-injuries.com, or call 1-888-909-5639.