Whiplash or also know as cervical acceleration-deceleration disorder is a common condition when involved in a car accident. This usually occurs when the neck is initially extended back as the car is propelled forward when hit from behind.
As the tissues stretch in the front of the neck, the head will then flex forward very rapidly. During this, the tissues in the back of the neck stretch. There are four types of whiplash.
Type I - Pain with normal range of motion but no objective findings.
Type II - Pain that includes injuries to the soft tissue and decrease range of motion but no neurological loss.
Type III - Pain that includes injuries to the soft tissue and decrease range of motion plus neurological loss.
Type IV – Involves fractures of the cervical spine.
How to adjust the head rest and seat – Alot of times headrests are frequently not adjusted correctly causing whiplash. Sometimes they are either too low or to far away from the head. If the headrest is to low, the low headrest will act as a fulcrum causing more harm to the neck. If your seat is reclined, this can cause the body to slide upwards during an accident and positioning the head over the top of the headrest. If your head is to far away from the headrest, this can cause more injury if you are involved in an accident. Make sure your seat is in an upright position and your headrest is adjusted so that the top of your headrest is level between your eyes and the middle of your forehead.