Technological advances have progressed at a staggering rate over the last two decades, providing society with everything from global connectivity to a reduction in neck and spine injuries. A significant focus on reducing whiplash and other injuries to the neck and spine have taken hold throughout the automotive injury; find out how these advances could one day make these injuries a thing of the past.
Spine Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
While automobile collisions are all unique and have the potential to cause a wide range of injuries, whiplash is one of the most common and one of the most misunderstood.
Any rapid back-and-forth movement of the head can cause whiplash; this includes auto accidents, but also impact sports and physical assaults. The most common symptom is neck pain, which can range from mild discomfort to completely debilitating. Patients suffering from whiplash may also feel pain in their shoulders and upper back, or a headache. Range of motion may be reduced, along with increased weakness, tingling or numbness radiating through the shoulder and down into the arm.
While many people who sustain whiplash injuries will recover within a three-month timespan, some will experience chronic pain and symptoms of the injury that present themselves for months, or even years. Though it may take up to twenty-four hours for the full effects of a whiplash injury to set in, it's crucial to obtain prompt treatment. The sooner a case of whiplash is treated, the more effective it tends to be.
Preventing Neck Injuries Through Science
Quick treatment may be the best course of action for patients who have whiplash but preventing it from occurring in the first place is even better. Auto manufacturers have set their sights on the reduction of neck injuries through more advanced vehicle design, including carefully designed head restraints.
Dynamic head restraints deploy when an accident occurs, just like airbags. Some feature a hinged mechanism design. Individual manufacturers offer different types of features to prevent neck injuries, but all of them are designed to minimize injury and protect the necks of drivers and passengers in the event of a collision. Automobile manufacturers invest significantly in the research and development of injury prevention, from specialized head restraints to auto-assist technology that helps motorists avoid sudden collisions in the first place. Some companies, like Volvo and Saab, build their brands around increased safety measures and better crash protection.
When Technology isn't Enough to Prevent Neck Injuries
Great strides have been made in automotive technology when it comes to injury prevention, but neck injuries can and do still happen. When they do, it's important to seek treatment right away.
Modern chiropractic care can provide not only pain relief for patients suffering from neck injuries, but can also improve range of motion and address stiffness or tightness. Working with a chiropractor after an accident or injury involving the musculoskeletal system can reduce your recovery time and get you back to your life, all without prescriptions or invasive surgical procedures.