Here are the nuts and bolts about whiplash.
Take a look at the picture of the x-ray below. This is what a neck looks like before
a whiplash accident. The curve is suppose to be there. It's called a lordosis. It
distributes weight equally between the two joints in the back of the neck and the
disc in the front. It also provides strength and motion at the same time.
When you are in a whiplash accident the head is whipped backwards, as in the
Then the head is whipped forward. The head is to heavy for the spine and the
muscles are too slow to react. Your neck is at the mercy of the force of the
accident, as in the picture below.
The ligaments become damaged or sprained and the muscles get strained. The
sprain / strain heals with time but the spine may never go back into the normal
lordic curvature,as seen in the picture below.
This is why untreated or mistreated whiplash is so problematic. When you loose the
lordosis the weight of your head is no longer distrubited. The weight is forced onto
the disc in the front of the neck. The disc can prematurely degenerate due to
compression forces. The spinal cord and nerves are stretched leaving very little
tolerance for movement. Movements that would otherwise be pain free can cause
neck and arm pain, tingling, and numbness. The head is moved forward ahead of
the spine and is no longer balanced. This causes chronic muscular strain, tension
headaches, and neck and back pain. The only way to evaluate this is with an x-ray
form a Chiropractor.
The way this must to be fixed is with Chiropractic adjustments and exercises to
restore the lordosis. Below is a picture of a man doing exercises to restore the
lordosis in his neck. Depending on the severity of the injury it may take months or
years to restore the lordosis. If you've been in a whiplash accident and are not
doing these exercises then your lordosis may never be corrected and you can have
life long pain.
Loss of lordosis