Monday, August 9, 2010

Neck pain caused by Roller Coaster in NYC

Too Much Fun: Whiplash Caused by Roller Coasters

Throughout this summer I have seen countless patients complaining of neck and low back pain brought on by riding a roller coaster. Locally here in NYC the biggest producer of neck and back injuries has to be the "Cyclone" in Coney Island, Brooklyn,New York. This roller coaster is one the oldest wood roller coaster around. I seriously think a Chiropractor should hand out their cards and the end of the ride.
Our NYC Physical therapy practice treats neck and back injuries with a combination of Chiropractic,Physical therapy and Massage. Did you hurt your neck on a roller coaster? Give us a call today at (212) 645-8151.

Riding Rollercoasters Can Cause Whiplash
Whiplash. We usually associate this word with car accidents, sports accidents or blows to the head. But whiplash caused by roller coasters? Though this information may seem to dampen the fun of taking crazy roller coaster rides in your favorite theme park, it doesn’t make it less real.

How to Avoid Whiplash
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out. All those loops, dives, crazy turns and up and down acceleration can cause serious damage to one neck and spinal chords. There have even been some reports of blood vessels rupturing and hematoma caused by roller coaster rides.

A friend of mine told me a story concerning her twelve-year-old son. After a day at a theme park, her son was complaining about an aching neck. Thinking that the boy had just strained a muscle or was simply tired, she ignored his complaints. The next day, the boy was unable to move his neck. Upon bringing him to the hospital, the doctor confirmed that the boy sustained a whiplash injury.

According to doctors, head and neck injuries while riding roller coasters can happen to anyone, regardless of age. You can be a young, healthy and at the peak of your strength and still get whiplash and other injuries. Of course, the older one gets, the greater the risk of slip disks and whiplash caused by sudden movement.

Does this mean we must all boycott roller coasters? The answer still lies with you. If you’re confident enough to ride a roller coaster knowing full well what the consequences might be, then go ahead and knock your socks off. But if you’d rather not, then don’t. An ounce of prevention saves you a bucket of cures.

One technique that I like is to be prepared for the coaster ride, be sure to be aware and ready when the Coaster takes off, all to ofen injuries occur when someone is suprised and their head is whipped back or side to side.
Also be sure to keep your head firmly planted back against the head rest, this prevents the whiplash movement.
Read the signs before getting on a coaster, they warn you about boarding a ride with previous neck and back injuries.

But for the adventurous, the important thing is to seek medical attention immediately after you start experiencing headaches, neck pain, neck swelling, muscle spasms or difficulty in neck movement. As with other sicknesses or injuries, the earlier whiplash is detected and treated, the faster you can get better.
Ice your neck right away if you suspect you suffered a whiplash type injury. Seek out a Chiropractor.
If you are in The NYC area and are looking for a Chiropractor visit my website at
or call (212)645-8151


  1. Stretching exercises are a good way to prevent injury. Learn simple stretches that can be done to increase your range of motion. Stretching first thing in the morning is a good way to waken up tired muscles. Incorporating this activity into your daily routine will help lengthen tight muscles and prevent injuries.
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  2. It is possible to get a whiplash injury from a very slow speed accident - thought it is bad luck/ worth looking into to see if he had a preexisting condition which has been agrivated rather than a new injury. Whiplash can take time to come out but not in terms of months. In this case though I think you will find that this has other forces at work causing the "delay" in your son becoming aware of it. How Much for Whiplash