Whiplash is a common neck injury that occurs when the head jerks in a rapid back-and-forth, or sideways movement, often to extreme degrees. It is typically caused by rear-end vehicular collisions, but it can also be caused by other types of accidents, of either low- or high-velocity nature.
Whiplash can often be prevented. Read on to find out how you can help minimize your risk of sustaining whiplash when driving or when engaging in sports.
Preventing Whiplash When Driving
The best way to prevent whiplash is to get a car that has an active head restraint (AHR) system. AHR is a technology that automatically activates the headrest pillow during a rear-end crash to move up and extend forward to minimize the gap between the occupants’ head and the headrest, thereby reducing the impact and the risk of a neck injury.
If your car does have an AHR system, consider the following tips to help minimize your risk of sustaining whiplash and other neck injuries when driving.
o Observe correct sitting position.
A correctly positioned head restraint is essential for preventing whiplash injuries and applies to all people within the vehicle. The top of the headrest should be level with the top of your head, or at least, the top of your ears. The headrest should also be close (less than 3 inches) to the back of your head.
You should always sit upright and wear a safety belt when travelling in a car. The seat belt helps you stay in a neutral position during a collision and helps ensure your head is aligned with the head restraint.
Although it is not always possible to react in time or position yourself for a collision, if you realize a crash is imminent or hear the squeal of tires approaching you, it pays to prepare yourself: lean your head back so that it is touching the head restraint, face straight ahead, and try to remain in a neutral position.
o Follow the two-second rule.
Always leave a safe distance between your car and the car ahead of you. If you tailgate the car in front of you, you may not have sufficient time to stop if they brake suddenly. The car behind you may also hit you if you brake suddenly or without warning.
Preventing Whiplash During Sports
Contact sports, such as football, wrestling, and boxing, can put you at increased risk of sustaining whiplash injuries. To minimize such risk, make sure you use the correct protective equipment and employ proper techniques.
Additionally, doing warm-up and neck stretching exercises releases neck tension and pain, improves your strength and flexibility, and ultimately helps prevent whiplash.
Whiplash Treatment in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach, Florida
We offer a comprehensive range of preventive, sick, and urgent care services, and we are here to help our patients avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. Our team consists of a family medicine provider and an internal medicine doctor who are both dedicated to providing our patients with the highest quality of care and empowering them to take a proactive role in their own health and well-being.
To find out more about the services we offer or to schedule a consultation with one of our providers, call us at (561) 434-1935. You can also request an appointment online. For urgent concerns, we offer same-day and walk-in appointments.