Whiplash is a neck injury triggered by a powerful back-and-forth movement of the neck. The injury is commonly instigated as a result of rear-end car accidents. Though it can be caused by other traumas as well such as slip and fall. This sudden force expanses and tears the tendons and muscles in your neck.
Many people with whiplash get better within a few weeks or months by following the recommended treatment plan. On the other hand, some people get chronic neck pain with lasting complications. Here we have discussed everything you need to know about whiplash including the common symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options available both at clinic and home.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Unfortunately, if you have suffered from whiplash you will experience intense neck pain, stiffness, and tension blistering from the head and moves down the upper back and shoulders. Other common symptoms include tightness, muscle spasms, and headaches. The symptoms of whiplash range from moderate to severe. If the pain doesn’t get better even after weeks, you should consult a spinal specialist. Therapies and prescription medication will improve your symptoms.
Whiplash injury affects the soft tissue structures and bones. Therefore, imaging is important particularly if the injury is caused because of a high-velocity automobile accident. The initial evaluation is accompanied by a detailed physical examination. Based on the findings, you will be recommended for x-rays of the neck if required for further evaluation.
How Whiplash Is Treated
We highly recommend you to consult a doctor after the car accident. Typically, acute and sub-acute conditions last up to three months of the accident. The treatment involves non-opioid pain medications and physical therapy. If you are still experiencing the pain after three months, your condition will become chronic.
Medical Care for Whiplash
According to Chiro Atlanta, if you are experiencing the symptoms of whiplash whether minor or intense, make sure to seek medical care immediately. Here we have listed some of the treatment options available:
Physical Therapy: A physical therapist will design a treatment program focused on improving your neck flexibility and strength. Also, it aims at relieving stress on the spine and minimizes pain.
Pain Medication: In case the over-the-counter drugs fail to manage the pain, then prescription-strength medications makes another important recommendation. These include opioids and muscle relaxants prescribed by the physician.
Psychotherapy: Unfortunately, if you have developed a psychological condition after the whiplash injury such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, professional mental health counseling is important to help you go through the condition in a better way.