WHIPLASH INJURIES OF THE HEAD AND NECK
In a motor vehicle accident whiplash injury of the head and neck is caused by a sudden and exaggerated thrust of the head and neck backward, forward, and even sometimes sideways. Violent abnormal forces are applied to muscles, ligaments, nerves, bones, intervertebral discs, and even the brain as your weighty head and neck moves beyond its normal physiological limits. Frequently there may be no visible bruises or abrasions from this type of injury yet victims report classic symptoms. The symptoms are due to injuries of vertebrae, ligaments and muscles of the neck.
The head is propelled in a forward and downward motion in hyper flexion. Intervertebral disks may be damaged. The disks may bulge or become herniated, imitating spinal nerves and causing pain, numbness and tingling and even weakness.
The head is forced backward in hyperextension. There may be a tear of the anterior longitudinal ligament. Spinous processes of the vertebrae may be fractured. Intervertebral disks may be compressed posterior and torn anterior. Vertebral arteries may be stretched, pinched, or torn, causing an impediment to blood flow to the brain. Nerves of the cervical sympathetic chain may also be injured.
• LIGAMENT DAMAGE
The anterior longitudinal ligament, running vertically along the anterior surface of the vertebrae, may be injured in hyperextension. The posterior longitudinal ligament running opposite, on the posterior surface of the vertebral bodies, may be injured in hyper flexion. The broad liagmentatum nuchae may also be stretched or torn.
• SPINAL LIGAMENTS
Vertebrae are held in place by ligaments. In a whiplash accident, ligaments may be stretched, partially torn, or completely ruptured.
• MUSCLE INJURY
Whiplash can cause injuries of neck muscles, ranging from minor strains and micro hemorrhages to severe tears. Commonly affected muscles include the (SCM) sternocleidomastoid muscle, scalene muscles, and trapezius muscles.
• SPINAL CORD INJURY
When tears occur in ligaments that surround the vertebrae, the vertebrae may slip out of normal alignment and the spinal cord may be injured. An injured spinal cord can cause paralysis and even death.
• POST CONCUSSION SYNDROME INJURY
Whiplash may also jar the brain. There may be difficulty with light sensitivity of the eyes, ringing in the ears, dizziness, headaches, difficulty concentrating, decreased sense of smell, decreased sense of taste, nervousness, anxiety, stress, etc.
Call 816-584-0444 to schedule your complementary consultation today. You Don’t Have To Live With The Pain!