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  • Writer's pictureDr. Thomas A. Harmody

What is a cervical hyperextension/hyperflexion injury or better known as whiplash?

Whiplash does not only come from a rear end accident. Side impact or front end accidents can also cause whiplash injuries to your neck. There are long ligaments that run down the front and back of your spine called the anterior longitudinal ligament and the posterior longitudinal ligament (ALL and PLL for short.) When the head rapidly moves backward and forward during an accident, small tears will occur in the ALL and PLL. This can decrease the stability of those vertebral levels. We call these translational instabilities. These instabilities can increase the risk for disc herniation at those levels. These disc herniations can cause neck pain that radiates down across the shoulder and even down the arm. They also can radiate up the neck and cause headaches that only respond to NSAID treatments briefly. Chiropractors are trained to detect these injuries and treat these injuries. After a car accident make sure to seek treatment within the two week window your PIP insurance grants you.

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