Whiplash is a term that refers to neck injury when the head and neck is forced to move past the normal range of motion, commonly happening in car accidents, especially when someone is rear-ended. Typically when this happens, the head move back as the body goes forward, crating a recoil motion, and the head will snap forward, thereby damaging the muscles, especially the soft tissues that support the jaw, head, and neck. It happens because the head weighs about the size of a bowling ball, and when the body snaps forward, it pushes about 500-600 pounds of force onto the neck, and it can damage the structures that surround this, and in addition, women tend to be more vulnerable, since they have a smaller head and neck ratio. To understand what happens, the strain causes the tissues to start to strain, and it doesn’t show up in x-rays, so they’re difficult to determine in terms of structures that are affected, and you may et other symptoms instead.
Pain in the neck, stiffness, and lowered motion happens, and headaches, and it can also cause numbness in the face and head, pain in the eyes with blurriness, issues with swallowing, jaw issues, and difficulty chewing on things, and this can happen for hours, months, or even days afterwards, and they can be painful and persistent to a person suffering from this.
Whiplash also can cause TMJ, and since the head is supported by different bones, it’s often called the cervical spine. In between this are called discs, which are cushions or shock absorbers during movement of the spine. To keep the head balanced properly, usually the muscles in the jaw, shoulder, head, and neck are involved, but when the neck is forced to move past your normal range of motion, it can use the ligaments to stretch and tear, and the muscles that control this can be affected, and it can force them to go into a spasm. There may be pain around the jaw joints, along with click, popping, a locking or limited opening, and issues with bringing teeth together in the event of TMJ happening after you get whiplash from an accident.
Because both the health care providers and the parents rarely think it’s TMJ or jaw muscles, usually it’s overlooked. When it’s not treated in time or recognized, it becomes a huge medical issue, and the treatment may be denied by insurance companies. If the treatment of whiplash needs to be done, you want to have it done at the beginning, because there is always a small chance that it may not be covered by insurance in some instances.
You can get orthopedic treatment and physical therapy, and your dentist may give you some instructions too.
It’s never fun to deal with whiplash, but if you have this issue, you should definitely get this fixed up right away, since it can ultimately affect the situation as it happens to the person that it affects.