Whiplash may result in Forward Posture, Neck Pain and Headaches
The average person gets in an auto accident every ten years. Low impact collisions may unknowingly have a high health impact. Many cars today are designed to lessen damage to the vehicle. The front and rear bumpers compress on impact and then return to their normal shape. This rebound causes acceleration of the occupant’s head in relation to their shoulders. The tightening of the seat belt multiplies this effect. The end result is that the occupant’s head is left forward from their shoulders. This may not sound like a big thing, but remember what Dr. Fred Schofield at Atlas Chiropractic says, “little hinges swing big doors”. Dr. Fred has been helping the people of Northwest Phoenix heal from the damaging effects of auto accidents for 34 years.
Effect of Whiplash and Forward Head Posture: Neural Tension
One of the most common x-ray findings found on patients following whiplash, is that the head is forward from the shoulders as well as the normal forward curve in the neck is lost. The average adult head weighs around ten pounds, for every inch your head is forward the apparent head weight increases ten pounds. Thus, if your head measures one inch forward then it will feel like it weighs twenty pounds instead of ten. This increased apparent weight causes tension on the neck muscles, cervical nerve roots, spinal cord and brain stem, and also causes TMJ. A loss of the cervical curve causes additional stretching of the cervical nerve roots, spinal cord and posterior neck muscles.
Neck Pain and Headaches Caused by Forward Head from Whiplash
Two of the most common symptoms that result from forward head posture are neck pain and headaches. TMJ, dizziness, shoulder pain, mid back pain, arm numbness and arm pain may also result. The neural tension caused by a forward head position increases pain pathways and inhibits the feel good pathways, producing pain and ill health.
Correcting the Forward Head Posture and Resulting Pain
Specific Chiropractic Spinal Analysis with Specific Upper Cervical X-Rays helps to determine the need of a Chiropractic Adjustment. Then, a Specific Chiropractic Adjustment is performed to re-align and restore function to the spine. As neural tension and spinal function is restored, the head naturally returns to its proper position with the head over the shoulders. With reduced neural pressure pain reduces and health is restored.