With winter in full swing though, your chiropractor in Vancouver WA warns that slips and falls are bound to happen. Many of these falls will result in unforeseen injuries, some that might show up right away, and others that won’t immediately make themselves known.
One of the injuries that can occur after a fall on the ice is whiplash. We know what you are thinking, that’s a car accident related injury! Well, we are here to tell you that whiplash can happen any time that your neck whips back and forth, as happens in a hard fall.
Whiplash is an injury that is common in falls and is the effect of sprain and strain in the neck. It is commonly associated with having your vehicle rear-ended by another vehicle, but during the winter, we often see an increase of whiplash from slipping and falling on ice.
Falls on icy sidewalks, parking lots, driveways, and steps are typically unexpected and out of nowhere. Because of this, most people are not able to brace themselves for the fall. With the ups and downs in the the temperature in the Pacific Northwest mixed with rain, snow, sleet, and freezing rain, surfaces become treacherous and whiplash-related neck injuries are on an unfortunate rise.
Whiplash can lead to a loss of natural curvature in the neck. When left untreated, it can lead to a variety of symptoms and health problems. Seeking chiropractic care for a whiplash injury provides pain relief, removes pressure on the nerves, and prevents the proliferation of spinal arthritis.
Signs and symptoms of whiplash usually develop within 24 hours of the injury and may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Worsening of pain with neck movement
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
- Tenderness or pain in shoulder, upper back or arms
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
Some people also experience:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
Here are a couple things you can do to stay on solid ground when the ground is slippery:
- Wear reliable shoes
- Watch for slippery areas and test them out by tapping your foot on the area before taking a full step
- Maintain your balance by taking smaller steps
- Wear gloves so you can keep your hands out of pockets, allowing you to brace yourself or catch your balance if you slip
- If you feel yourself falling, try to fall on your side if possible
- Do your best to protect your head
- If you start to fall when you’re carrying something, drop it (unless what you are carrying is a child)
Falling down and getting up is a part of life but doing what you can to avoid slipping in icy conditions is always the best way to go. When a slip and fall does happen, it’s always a good idea to see a chiropractor in Vancouver WA, even if no injuries are apparent.