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Whiplash-associated disorders or more easily known as (WAD) is defined as “an acceleration-deceleration mechanism of energy transfer to the neck.” WAD can be caused by rear end or side impact vehicle collisions, sports related injuries, falls, assaults, and more. There are many signs and symptoms to WAD, since many bones and tissues are involved. Lacey Chiropractic is going to share these with you.

The Quebec task force came up with the term WAD in 1995, and broke it down into five different divisions:

WAD 0- No pain or exam findings
WAD I- Neck pain, stiffness, or tenderness as a single complaint with no exam signs WAD II- Pain, stiffness, or tenderness with exam findings like decreased range of neck motion, points of tenderness of the neck
WAD III- All of WAD II in addition to altered nerve function (sensory deficits, muscle weakness, altered deep tendon reflexes)
WAD IV- Fracture with or without spinal cord injury.

WAD is mostly found in low impact (mostly rear) collisions where vehicles usually impact lower than 14 mph. In a rear ended collision, the car is forced back into the seat back where then the neck and head are hyper extended, then recoiled forwards. This all happens faster than our muscles are able to brace, which is why it can do so much damage

Lacey chiropractic wants to tell you studies actually support that the source of neck pain more often comes from injured joints than injured muscles. More specifically, injury of the facet joints, (located at the side of the neck), was 60% of the time the reason for neck pain. This can also cause a headache, and pain that lingers in the low neck/shoulder area, especially when it gets to levels like C2-3 and C5-6. Worse than C5-6, pain can go as far as the arms.

Despite this information, Lacey Chiropractic has good news for you! If you suffer from a WAD related injury, you will most likely recover within three months. The other 40% that do not improve are classified with Chronic Whiplash. Some risk factors of WAD developing to cWAD include, extremely severe neck pain and stiffness, neurological deficit/ arm pain, bad headaches, and even hospital admission if other symptoms are out of hand. Older patients who have other neck or back problems and those with slender necks are at risk for an even slower recovery. cWAD can also induce depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.

With all of that being said, come visit us here at Lacey Chiropractic if you think you may be suffering from WAD or cWAD or if you are having any other problems. We’re walk in friendly, but you can make an appointment too if you wish.

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