In the longest study ever performed on whiplash-injured patients (a study looking at the health status 17 years after injury), 55% of the patients still suffered from pain caused by the original trauma. (Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2002)
Isn't this incredible!
More than half of all patients that suffered a whiplash injury still had pain 17 years later. These car accidents cause considerable damage to the spine and neck. The muscles and ligaments are pulled or torn, including microtearing. Microtears are small tears in the internal structure of muscles and ligaments. It's like you take a piece of guaze and pull it. The gauze does not tear in two, but some of the internal strands of the gauze tear, lengthening the piece of gauze overall. If those tears are not corrected as soon as possible, they will scar. This scar tissue is abnormal tissue that may never function properly, even with massage, exercise and stretching.
The important take home of this is that all people involved in car accidents need to be examined by a doctor of chiropractic as soon after the injury as possible. The only way to ensure that the tissue heals properly is to start necessary treatment immediately. If you or someone you know is ever involved in a car accident and suffers a whiplash injury, please get evaluated by your chiropractor as soon as possible!