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By definition, whiplash is: “An abrupt snapping motion or change of direction resembling the lash of a whip.”
A whiplash injury can happen faster than you can blink your eye. There is an average of 6 million new car crashes every year. Of that, approximately 3 million people are injured with whiplash. From that, 43% will deal with chronic neck pain, and sadly, 10% will have total debilitation. If you have ever been in a crash, you may feel that you have fallen into one of those categories.
What once seemed like a minor fender bender can turn into a permanent injury. Sadly, 3 million people suffer from a new whiplash injury every year. From those injured, 43% will have chronic neck pain for the rest of their lives, while 10% will have complete debilitation. Whiplash is nothing to pass off as a minor problem. Without whiplash treatment, you can be headed for a lifetime of pain and doctor bills.
So what can you expect if you are involved in a car crash? Very commonly, you may experience neck pain or soreness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, and low back pain. These pains typically will go away after a couple of days leaving you with a false sense of healing from the crash. However, a hidden problem more sinister and borderline evil than the initial pains, is developing that may take weeks to years to surface.
If there was one thing that I could provide for the people who drive in our world, it would be how to prevent injury in a crash.
I know that sometimes it’s just not possible. However, there are some steps that you could take that drastically reduces your chance of injury.
The purpose of the head restraint is to prevent your head from whipping backwards if you were ever involve in a crash. A crash causes the car to compress on the springs which then drops out from under you. This causes you to “ramp up” the seat. If the restraint is too low, then it won’t save you. You’re destined to get whiplash. So, raise that puppy up.
I know the popular belief is to go limp because of the misbelief that drunk drivers never get hurt. Science proves that theory wrong.
You have to do it the right way. I’m going to teach you how. If you know that you are about to be rear-ended:
Doing these steps will minimize how much your body will move, making it very difficult for any ligament or tendon to stretch beyond their breaking point.
One of the biggest risk factors is having your head turned when the crash happens. This usually happens when you are turning your head to watch your own carnage. It’s instinct to watch. However, any time you have a tight tissue, and it gets jerked, it’s going to tear. The more it’s turned, the tighter it gets. The tighter it gets, the more it gets torn. It’s possible to have it completely severed. So don’t turn your head if you’re about to get hit. Period!
Some of the more common causes of such injuries include falls, cycling accidents, and other types of sports injuries. The amount of force and the angles involved will typically dictate the extent of the injury.
Unfortunately, the speed of the car is only a small factor in what determines your chance of getting injured. How do you determine your injury potential? Are there certain things that you can do to minimize this risk? Take our risk factor quiz available in our publication: A Victim’s Survival Guide To Whiplash Injury.