How is Whiplash Like a Hole in a Boat?
Have you ever had an experience when your body suddenly got shoved in another direction? Like that “innocent” little fender bender that you didn’t think twice about… until months or years later when you had inexplicable chronic pain.
The truth is, whiplash can happen anywhere and it is often so sudden that it is impossible to “brace yourself” to prevent deep soft tissue injury.
What most people don’t know about WHIPLASH is that it can often be more serious than breaking a bone or needing stitches from a deep gash. We have a tendency to think that because it is hidden under the surface of our skin, that it can’t be hurt too bad. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Research shows that during whiplash, the normal curves of the spine are temporarily whipped backward, beyond their normal ranges of motion. This causes injuries to the ligaments and other soft tissues that hold the spine in place.The problem is that many of these tissues receive very little blood supply, therefore, they often take a long time to heal… if they ever truly heal at all. Fractured bones typically heal in 6-8 wks, however, soft tissue injuries often take 12 wks to 2 yrs to heal… but without proper treatment, many never truly heal properly, ever.
In our office, it is extremely common to treat patients for life-altering symptoms that are a result of a whiplash injury several years prior to ever having any “major pain”. Sometimes we think that because there’s no major pain… that there is no major injury… but that can be false.
The reason whiplash injuries can turn into such a chronic problem is this:
There are 3 phases of healing that our bodies need to go through to heal properly:
- inflammation… which triggers the body to move into phase two..
- laying down new tissue (“scar tissue”), to repair the injury in the tissue,
- then the body should reorganize the jumbled scar tissue into more linear, flexible, functional tissue.
BUT HERE’S THE PROBLEM…
Most people get stuck in phase 2… the body keeps laying down layer upon layer of scar tissue, ultimately leaving thickened tissue that is not very flexible or functional and is more brittle and sensitive to pain. Thus, the chronic pain years after a whiplash accident… The pain later in life often comes from the way the body healed improperly, not necessarily the magnitude of the initial injury.
IT’S LIKE HAVING A HOLE IN A BOAT… the hole in the boat may not cause major problems immediately, you may not even notice that it’s there. However, the more time you spend using the boat without addressing the issue, the worse the problem gets, until one day the boat is completely full of water and you either can’t use it anymore or even worse, it puts your life at risk. Now, I’m not saying that if you don’t get treatment for your whiplash now that your life may be at risk some day, but your QUALITY OF LIFE definitely WILL BE!
Our office has dedicated itself to finding every possible, natural source of getting our patients all the way into the 3rd and final phase of healing… Assuring that their whiplash injury won’t be something that takes away their quality of life in the future!
If you feel like this something we can help you with please give us a call at 801-709-9797.
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