One of the main injury's that I treat hear in my practice, Bellevue Whiplash Center at Back in Action Chiropractic, is whiplash to the neck following car accidents. Quite often I get asked about these injury's and what is wrong. Its important to understand your neck and how it is laid out to best understand whiplash injury's
Your spine is divided into three parts. These three parts are the cervical (upper) spine, the thoracic (middle) spine, and the lumbar (lower) spine. Of these sections, the cervical spine consists of the seven bones, or vertebrae (referenced as C1-C7, with C1 located at the very top). The thoracic spine has twelve vertebrae (T1-T12) and the lumbar five (L1-L5).
The cervical spine is the first part of your spine to hold the weight of the skull, and is also responsible for allowing you to turn, tip, and bend your head and neck. The cervical bones are considerably smaller than the rest of the spinal bones. The mid back and low back are much less flexible than the neck, as the lumbar spine is built more for support than to provide a ton of motion. While being able to freely move the head and neck is vital for human survival, it does leave these smaller more fragile bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and discs prone to injuries such as whiplash.
The first bone in the neck is referred to as C1, and is the uppermost vertebra of the spinal column. This bone is also known as the atlas, since the weight of the skull rests upon it. C2 is called the axis, and it is the pivot on which the atlas vertebra turns, allowing you to turn your head from side to side. Nodding of the head happens between the bones of C1 and base of the skull. .
The next four bones in the neck, C3 to C6, are relatively the same in size and structure being wider than they are long, and having two bones which meet to form what's called the spinous process at the back of your neck (this is the little bump you can feel in the back of your neck). All of these bones are connected with a joint, and a series of ligaments.
C7 is referred to as the vertebral prominens as it has a considerably longer spinous process. This area of the neck is highly
Each of the first six bones in the neck has a hole, called a foramen, in each of the side of the bone, which blood vessels and bundles of nerves are able to travel to and from your brain.
A basic anatomy lesson now orient's you with some of the potential areas that can by injured in a car accident. Hopefully now you can better understand some of the wonderful information that is available, both here on www.bellevuewhiplash.com and across the internet.
I hear the following statement, or some semblance of it almost on a daily basis, "I was so afraid to come in and see you because I was afraid you would 'pop' me, and it would hurt, but I was so amazed that not only did you not pop me, it did not hurt!" So what makes us different here at Bellevue Whiplash Center, at Back in Action Chiropractic? We use technology to help us fix your neck and back which allows use to be very gentle with our adjustments.
Our chiropractic adjustments are to help the joints and ligaments of your spine heal following a motor vehicle accident. The purpose is to improve your body’s functioning and alleviate pain.
Adjustments, especially for car accidents, are most commonly made to joints in your back, and neck, but also if you have injury's to other parts of your body we may treat other parts of the body, such as the shoulders, knees, wrists, or ankles.
Chiropractic has been shown to help with not only whiplash injury's and back pain, but conditions such as:
• Neck, back, shoulder, arm, hand, chest, leg, or foot pain and stiffness
• Sports injuries
• Repetitive strain disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome
If chiropractic is new to you, you may have a bit of a hard time relaxing on your first visit, and this is nothing to worry about, as we will slowly explain everything we are doing and work with you. As you get used to the procedures you should find that it is relaxing, and you may feel relief and a sense of well-being after the adjustment.
After your first treatment, you may feel some soreness or aching in the muscles or joints. If it occurs, this kind of discomfort usually mimics the soreness that you may feel after a vigorous exercise routine. It should not last longer than 24 hours. Typically an ice pack on the affected area of soreness in this case should help reduce the soreness and help you recover quickly.
If you have been involved in a Bellevue auto accident, be sure you choose a board-certified chiropractor with good patient references. An experienced, competent practitioner will be able to give you the most effective treatment possible with the least amount of discomfort.
Chiropractic Adjustment: What you can Expect. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chiropractic-adjustment/MY01107
Reactions Following a Chiropractic Adjustment. http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/reactions-following-a-chiropractic-adjustment
Car accidents can lead to a host of injury's to the human body. Our current understanding of car accident injury's is that the ligaments of the spine are most damaged during these collisions. Monohar Panjabi is one of the foremost authorities on these types of injury's and what they do to the human body. Below is an article he wrote on this subject. This understanding of the car accident injury, also validates why chiropractic patients respond so favorably following a car accident.
In our last blog post we talked about the first step to take if your are involved in a car accident in Bellevue, WA. In today's post we are going to walk through the second step you want to take.
2. Make sure everyone in your car is OK, then make sure the other driver is OK, then call the police.
Car accidents, especially on the busy streets and highways of Bellevue, can be VERY dangerous things. Head injury's, broken bones, cuts, and a whole host of other injury's can occur during a car accident. Because of this you want to make sure that everyone is OK and does not need any special attention for their injury's. Make sure that no one passed out, or hit their heads and that no one is bleeding. Once you have secured your own car, go and check on the other drivers involved, and ask them the same questions. If someone is seriously hurt make sure to call 911 and stay with them until help arrives.
If everyone is OK, the next thing you need to do is get all cars off to the side of the road as to avoid another collision and call the police. Most experts will agree that if there is any damage or any injury's that an officer needs to take account for what happened and file a report. As a physician I get to hear a lot of story's about different kinds of accidents and recently I have seen a ton of drunk driver accidents and in each situation the drunk driver has asked my patient to not call the police. Another reason that a driver may ask you to not call the police is that they say that they will pay you out of pocket to fix your car or your injury's. Even if you are approached and asked to not call the police it is very important that you still do.
You never know how things will turn out or what story's may be told in the future and for this reason a police report is vital. Also if there are any injuries that need to be dealt with or an unsafe accident scene that could harm your safety a policeman or highway patrol can help manage the accident scene.
If you are involved in a Bellevue car accident please make sure everyone is OK, then call the police. In our next blog post we will be discussing step 3 to take following an accident which is to contact your insurance company.
Driving here on the Eastside can sometimes be a dangerous activity. No one WANTS to get into an accident, but with the amount of traffic, distracted drivers, and irresponsible drivers (drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, road rage, etc...) they do happen. Here is the first step to follow if you are in an car accident here in Bellevue.
1. Make sure to be prepared.
Being prepared for an accident before an accident ever happens is one of if not the most important step to take. It is my experience working with auto injury patients for the last 12 years that the people who are well prepared before they ever get into an accident have a far less traumatic experience. The best example I have of this is if you have ever been pulled over by a police officer. The times that I have put all of my relevant information, licence, title, etc... into one envelope that I hand the police officer, my experience has been very low stress. Its the time that my tittle is buried in the glove compartment and I cant find anything that I am the most stressed. So what does it mean to be prepared?
First off, preparation starts when you are buying your auto insurance policy. Know exactly what you are buying and that you have enough insurance to protect for the worst case scenario. Do your research and make sure you are protecting your health, your family and your car.
Secondly, it means having all of the tangible things you need following an accident at arms length. Have all of your insurance information available, company, policy number, and any phone numbers in your glove compartment and in your wallet in case the glove compartment is damaged. Also, if your cell phone does not have a good camera it is good practice to have a disposable camera to take pictures of the scene and your cars. And lastly, a pen and paper to take down all of the other drivers information.
If you are in a car accident in Bellevue, make sure you are prepared for the worst. In our next blog post we will continue this series on the steps to take following a motor vehicle accident.
Dr. Michael Weir is the clinic director at Bellevue Whiplash Center at Back in Action Chiropractic. We will also be hosting a variety of relevant guest bloggers to help you understand your injuries better.