Last week, our topic was structured around car accidents and the plan of action you should take immediately following to avoid long-term implications that you won't necessarily feel in the short term.  Today, as a follow-up, I want to discuss an acute situation - one that you often will feel immediately or a day(s) following an accident.
You've likely all heard of this condition, in which the head and neck are thrown backward into extension after a car accident.  What you may not know is that whiplash occurs in almost every other kind of accident, too.  Think of all of the slips and falls you've taken throughout the course of your life; or the times you've ridden a roller coaster, gotten injured playing a sport, or been on an airplane when windy conditions arose and tossed the plane around a bit.  Each time, your head and neck have been thrown, very quickly, out of their normal position.  The quick jerk of the whiplash incident causes both a misalignment of the bone where the head and neck meet (the top vertebra in the neck) and a strain on the muscles from the base of the head down into the mid-back.  The more significant the incident, the more likely you'll experience the associated symptoms. 
Whiplash has been linked to so many different symptoms, ranging from headaches to neck pain to Migraines to visual disturbances to Vertigo to upper back problems, etc.  That reason is simple: the head, neck, and surrounding muscles are made to be positioned a certain way and move within a certain range; whiplash throws the head, neck, and surrounding muscles out of that position and outside that certain range.  It's often disorienting, usually painful, and always capable of doing underlying damage.  
The usual course of action with such an injury is rest and ice.  Rest gives the muscles a chance to relax and ice dulls the pain.  Unfortunately, these measures do not address the long-term implications; only the short-term symptoms.  The top bone in the neck and its alignment with the base of the skull is foundational to the rest of the body.  When aligned, the rest of the body falls nicely into its proper position.  When misaligned, the rest of the body compensates/shifts out of its proper position.  Muscles from the head to the toes pull from a balanced state to an imbalanced state.  That foundational head/neck alignment, therefore, needs be assessed and corrected, for otherwise the compensated position will only lead to more significant issues down the road.   
Also not to be underscored is that the top bone in the spine is the protector of the vital area of your neurologic system called the brainstem - where every nerve in the body originates and branches from to keep every organ, muscle, and tissue in the body functioning normally.  A misalignment of that bone will not only disrupt the structural integrity of the body, but also interfere with internal processes, creating for abnormal conditions in the body. 
Thus, whiplash may seem like a simple condition and, therefore, not be something that requires much further attention than home remedies.  The reality, however, is that whiplash is quite common and carries with it numerous long-term effects. 
Medications Will Become the Next Tobacco
A few weeks ago, I detailed my concerns about flu vaccines and their complete uselessness.  Well, statistics continue to pour in about the dangerous effects of vaccines and, the more educated people become, the less likely they're becoming to get vaccinated for things like the flu or have their kids vaccinated.  40 years ago, stats similar to these were pouring in about the tobacco industry.  Not too long ago, the government took away their ability to advertise.  Not too long before that, the tobacco industry carried a lot of political clout because it was a cash cow.  Now look at it.  Every media outlet echoes that if you smoke, you're pretty much ignoring all logic about the dangers of what you're smoking.  One day (maybe not in my lifetime), the drug companies will suffer the same fate.  Until that day, we'll continue to find ourselves dead last in health stats amongst the industrialized nations in this world.
Thinking good things for you, as always,
Dr. Chad