Whiplash and Concussion Injuries
Whiplash type injuries, acceleration-deceleration injuries (CAD), are prevalent in motor vehicle collisions, high impact sports, slip and falls and other traumas that cause a forceful movement of the head and neck. Whiplash injury created when any direction of forces causes quick movement of the head in one direction or the other. This sudden rapid movement of the head and neck affects supporting connective tissue of the neck region which can cause chronic health problems.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt
to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back
and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in
the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and
damaging brain cells. A concussion often describes as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)
because it is not life-threatening, but the effects of a concussion can be severe. While concussion injuries are common, an estimated prevalence 3.8 million in the United States, and are still considered one of the least understood injuries in sports medicine and neuroscience communities.
What is the difference between a concussion and whiplash?
Based on the anatomical association between head and neck, it is reasonable to expect that any significant blunt impact and or acceleration/ deceleration of the head will also result in some damage in neck potentially resulting in strain injuries to the soft tissues and joints of the cervical spine.
Studies examining whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) have shown that as little as 4.5g (‘g’ represent gravity) of neck acceleration force can cause mild strain injury to the tissues of the cervical spine and the signs and symptoms reported appear very similar to those experienced in mTBI.
Signs and symptoms of Concussion
Pressure in head
Sensitivity to light
Sensitivity to noise
Feeling slowed down
Feeling like ‘in a fog’
‘Don’t feel right’
Fatigue or low energy
Trouble falling asleep
Nervous or anxious
Signs and symptom of WAD
Reduced/painful neck movements
Reduced/painful jaw movements
Numbness, tingling or pain in arm or hand
Numbness, tingling or pain in leg or foot
Ringing in ears
Lower back pain
There is a high chance of overlap in the possible symptoms of these two different injuries. If an individual sustains an injury where the head impacted by force, likely, the cervical spine has also reached their injury threshold of 4.5g.
At Vitalpoint Chiropractic - your injury chiropractic care- we are committed to getting your family as healthy as possible. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you and your child to recovery from your injury.
C.M. Marchall et al, The role of the cervical spine in post-concussion syndrome
What Is a Concussion? | HEADS UP | CDC Injury Center.
Post-Concussion Syndrome vs. Whiplash Associated Disorder. Vital head and spine