What Happens to Your Body in a Rear-End Collision?

When our patient John pulled out from the Applebees on Pines Boulevard and stopped at the intersection on N. Palm Avenue, he had no idea his life was about to change for the worse.

He’d barely stopped at the light when another car hit him from behind. The collision happened so fast he could barely remember what happened. But his body would feel the effects for months afterward.

Rear-end collisions are among the most common kind of car accident – about 50% of all two-vehicle accidents that happen per year are rear-end crashes. And the effects on your body can sometimes take a while to make themselves apparent.

The injuries you’ll experience will vary depending on how fast the cars were going. But even a slow-moving collision can cause serious damage. When another car drives into yours from behind, its momentum is transferred to your car and your body.

Both you and your car are jerked forward suddenly and your body will be jerked back just as suddenly to crash against the seat behind you.Because your body isn’t expecting the impact, you can’t brace against it. Your head will be snapped forward and backward in a violent motion, causing a cascade of injuries all up and down the spine.

The impact can also cause internal and soft-tissue injuries. Your bodily organs may be jerked forward and then backward in their cavities, slamming into harder structures inside your body. In the most severe cases, organs can rupture.


The Most Common Injuries Seen with Rear-End Collisions


Whiplash occurs when your head is snapped forward and then backward with force. When this happens, the ligaments and muscles in your neck are stretched past the point of safety.

The effects of whiplash may take a while to be felt. Neck pain, stiffness, dizziness, blurred vision, and headaches are all fairly common.

Chiropractors typically take a gentle approach to whiplash, combining ice and heat to reduce soreness and swelling in the muscles, and then proceeding with careful spinal manipulation to restore proper alignment of the cervical spine.


Back Pain

A herniated disc can be the source of excruciating neck and back pain and is a fairly common injury that occurs as a result of a rear-end collision.

In between each vertebra is a soft disc designed to cushion the vertebrae and allow them to move smoothly and easily. These discs can be ruptured as a result of injury. Herniated discs can also push against surrounding nerves, causing numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in your arms, legs, and other parts of your body.

Your chiropractor’s approach to treating a herniated disc may vary depending on the severity of the injury. Treatment may involve spinal manipulation, manual therapy and physical therapy.

One effective treatment for herniated discs involves spinal decompression therapy – a technique that uses a computerized traction unit to gently straighten the spine, increasing the space between vertebrae to allow the displaced disc to slip naturally back into place.

Headaches and Migraines

With all the damage done to your neck and cervical spine in a rear-end collision, it’s no surprise that headaches can be a result.Headaches can be insidious. Sometimes, they arise weeks or months after a car accident. If you’re already prone to migraines, a cervical spine injury can make them worse.

Concussion, when your brain collides with the inner wall of your skull, is a very common effect of rear-end collisions and concussions can also cause headaches, from moderate to severe.

The approach to chiropractic treatment for headaches varies depending on the type of headache – cervicogenic, tension, or migraine – and other associated injuries.

Gentle, precise manipulation of the cervical spine can help restore alignment, promote healing, and reduce or eliminate headaches. Other treatment options include manual and soft-tissue therapy, heat and ice, massage, and electrical nerve stimulation.


Have You Been In a Rear-End Collision?

At Rush Chiropractic, we specialize in treating patients who have been injured in car accidents. Dr. Rush has helped countless patients suffering from neck, spine, back, and deep-tissue injuries and he can help you today.

Why be in pain a minute longer? Give us a call right now at 954-432-5006 to schedule your consultation today.

* To protect the privacy of our patients we have anonymized this article.

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