If you’ve been in an accident, you need a “Denver whiplash doctor near me”! How do whiplash injuries happen in Denver? A “whiplash” injury occurs when the head and neck accelerate, forcing the head back and forward.  This “whips” the neck and upper back soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, and tendons). This sprains the ligaments and tendons of the neck and upper back. It also strains the front and back muscles of the cervical and thoracic spine. While this type of injury usually occurs in rear-end collisions, it also happens in contact sports, “slip and falls,” and even assaults. The first symptoms of whiplash injuries are usually muscle tightness and pain. According to the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), there are 220 whiplash injuries in Denver every day.

What Causes Whiplash Injuries in Denver?

Denver whiplash doctor near me

During the first 50-100 milliseconds, the bodies of the passengers in the car being rear-ended continue to move forward while the head basically stays still. This causes the forward-facing curve of the neck to straighten. During the next 100-200 milliseconds, the lower half of the neck extends backward while the upper half flexes forward.  Next, the head accelerates backward (ideally), stopping when it strikes the headrest.  The last phase of a whiplash injury involves the head and neck accelerating forward (ideally) stopped by the seat belt or airbag.  The entire process takes just 300 msec. The entire event occurs faster than you can brace yourself, even if you anticipate the accident.

Tissues injured in whiplash accidents (also called an “acceleration/deceleration injury”) include all types of neck and upper back connective tissue. This includes muscles, ligaments, tendons, capsules, and intervertebral discs. Concussions, which are brain trauma or “traumatic brain injuries,” can also occur. These injuries happen in just a third of a second and can also occur at speeds of just 5 miles per hour. In fact, injuries to brain tissue can occur without hitting your head at all. The motion of the brain moving inside the skull after rapid acceleration or sudden stops can damage the very sensitive brain tissue.

What Affects How Serious a Whiplash Injury Is?

Whiplash injuries in Denver can be very complex, involving many different factors. The angle and firmness of the seat, headrest position, the size and stature of the passengers (women are more likely to suffer whiplash injuries than men), the position of the passenger’s head at the time of the accident, the direction of the passenger was looking during the accident, road condition, the size of the vehicles involved, and the list goes on and on.

The symptoms of whiplash can vary but most frequently include neck pain and stiffness, sore muscles, painful ligaments and tendons (called myofascial pain), headaches, and dizziness (vertigo).  Other common symptoms of whiplash include burning, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, and pain radiating to other areas like the shoulder blades, upper back, arm, head, or face. Signs of a concussion include difficulty concentrating, memory loss, anxiety, depression, nervousness, irritability, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and more.

After a car accident, what causes neck or back pain? Is it the muscles? The ligaments… joints… tendons? Because there are so many different symptoms linked to whiplash injuries, “whiplash-associated disorders” or WAD is a term that’s often used to describe these symptoms.

Find a “Denver Whiplash Doctor Near Me”

Regardless of the amount of pain you are experiencing after an auto accident, it’s vital that you are examined by a doctor familiar with whiplash injuries. Integrative Health and Rehabilitation is conveniently located for patients living in Arvada, Denver, Lakeside, or Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Schedule a FREE Car Accident Injury Evaluation with our office today!

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