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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Detailing the danger in ignoring a whiplash injury

Most on Bozeman may tend to believe that the potential for major injuries only exists with car accidents that occur at high speeds and/or involve extensive damage. If one is involved in a simple “fender-bender,” he or she may think that the only thing to worry about is the minor vehicle damage that may have occurred. In many cases, however, that assumption is proven to be wrong. Whiplash is one of the more common injuries that can occur in a car accident, and those who suffer from it may discover it to be just as debilitating as seemingly more serious injuries.

What exactly is whiplash? It is a soft tissue injury to the neck that results from sudden extreme tension and flexion of the cervical spine. External force from an impact causes the shape of the spine to be manipulated, with the lower portion being bent backward (extension) and the upper portion moving forward (flexion). The resultant muscle strain that comes from absorbing the impact is what causes the injury.

Many have heard of whiplash, yet most may mistakenly believe that only a high-speed impact can cause it. Yet reports that half of all whiplash injuries occur in impacts between 6-12 MPH. In fact, their information shows that the threshold for such an injury to occur can even be as low as 2.5 MPH.

The danger posed by a whiplash injury is that many who suffer from them simply dismiss them as normal pain, and thus do not seek treatment. The website reports that 43 percent of those who are not treated for whiplash pain persisting beyond six months fail to fully recover. This just demonstrates how important the need for immediate attention following any car accident can be.  

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