Do you think you might have experienced whiplash? Let’s look at how the injury typically occurs and research on the spine’s typical response to an auto accident.

Whiplash – definition

You may know that if you get into an accident and experience neck pain, it’s important to get medical care to determine if you might be suffering from whiplash.

The Mayo Clinic defines whiplash as “a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip.” The Minnesota-based nonprofit adds, “Whiplash most often occurs during a rear-end auto accident, but the injury can also result from a sports accident, physical abuse or other trauma.”

Whiplash is incredibly common, with 120,000 people experiencing it each year, according to health information site In other words, every 5 minutes, another person is struck with the injury.

How an auto accident causes whiplash

When a car rear-ends another one, the impact transmits force from the back car to the one in front. In turn, the force is passed on to the passengers and driver, any of whom may subsequently suffer from the neck pain of whiplash.

Extension in lower cervical spine

The findings of biomechanics specialists at Yale University and scientists studying the effects on real passengers together have provided a better understanding of the cervical spine movement that is associated with whiplash injury.

First, approximately .15 seconds after the car is struck, the cervical spine moves into a compromised position. Typically the top part of the spine has a C-curve in it, but the pressure of the crash forces it into the shape of an S.

1.    Flexion – bending forward – occurs in the higher portion of the cervical spine.

2.    Extension – bending backward – occurs in its lower portion.

The real core of whiplash injury is the extension component, explains chiropractor Donald Murphy, DC. “[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][T]he lower part of the cervical spine moves well beyond its normal range of motion, causing the potential for injury to the ligaments and discs in that area,” he says. “The upper part of the cervical spine also moves beyond its normal range of motion, but to a lesser extent.”

Trusted whiplash treatment

Have you been in a car crash and think you might have whiplash? Arkansas Pioneer Chiropractic, currently with the highest possible rating on Google (5.0), provides non-invasive, safe treatments for auto injuries. Book your free consultation.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]