Whiplash Injury Treatment

Whiplash Injury Treatment: Overview

Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the neck undergoes forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement, like the cracking of a whip. Rear-end car accidents are the common cause of whiplash injury. However, physical abuse, sports accidents, and other types of traumas, such as a fall, can also cause whiplash injury. Neck strain or sprain are terms that may be used to describe whiplash, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries. After following a whiplash injury treatment plan Woodstock, including both pain medication and exercise, most people suffering from whiplash get better within a few weeks. However, some people may develop chronic neck pain and other long-lasting complications.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash occurs when sudden, intense motion forcefully moves a person’s head backward and then forward. This injury commonly occurs during a rear-end car collision. It can also occur due to sports injuries, amusement park rides, or physical abuse.

The extension of the soft tissues (muscles and ligaments) of your neck beyond their typical range of motion causes whiplash. You might not experience any symptoms for a while, so it is essential to pay close attention to any physical changes, especially a few days after an accident.

Whiplash can cause long-term pain and discomfort, though it’s thought of as a relatively mild condition.

How Do Whiplash Injuries Occur?

Causes

Whiplash typically occurs when a sudden, quick motion forcefully throws your head backward and then forward. This motion can injure bones in the spine, muscles, ligaments, discs between bones, nerves, and other tissues of the neck.

A whiplash injury can occur due to:

  • Car Accidents – They are a major cause of whiplash, especially rear-end collisions.
  • Assault or physical abuse – You may suffer a whiplash injury if you are punched or shaken. It is one of the injuries associated with the shaken baby syndrome.
  • Contact sports – Sometimes whiplash can result from football tackles and other-related collisions.

Whiplash occurs when a rapid movement backward and then forward causes the muscles in your neck to strain. The sudden motion stretches and tears the tendons and ligaments of your neck, causing whiplash.

The following are some of the things that can cause whiplash:

  • auto accidents
  • physical abuse or assault, such as being punched or shaken
  • contact sports such as boxing, karate, and football
  • cycling accidents
  • horse riding
  • blow to the head from a heavy object
  • falls that causes the head to violently jerk backward

What Does Whiplash Feel Like?

You will start to experience symptoms usually within 24 hours following the incident that caused whiplash. Sometimes, it may take a few days before you develop symptoms. The symptoms can last for several weeks.

Common symptoms include:

  • dizziness
  • neck pain and stiffness
  • constant weariness
  • blurred vision
  • headaches (emanating from the base of your skull)

Less common symptoms that a person suffering from chronic whiplash include:

  • ringing in the ears
  • problems with memory and concentration
  • irritability
  • inability to sleep well
  • chronic pain in the head, neck, or shoulders

When to See a Doctor

See your doctor after a car accident, sports injury, or other traumatic injuries, especially if you feel any neck pain or develop other whiplash symptoms. Seeking prompt and accurate whiplash injury treatment Woodstock is very important as it will help to rule out broken bones or any other damage that can cause or worsen symptoms.

You should see your physician immediately if:

  • you feel severe pain when moving your head
  • the symptoms spread to your arms or shoulders
  • your arms are weak or numb

Diagnosis for Whiplash

You can use over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, ice, and other remedies at home to treat the most mild to moderate cases of whiplash. However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you develop the following symptoms:

  • severe neck pain
  • localized weakness or numbness in the leg or arm
  • neck pain and stiffness that disappear and then returns
  • bladder or bowels issues
  • pain, numbness, or tingling in your legs, arms, or shoulders

During your whiplash injury treatment Woodstock at Advanced Health Solutions – GA Spine & Disc, your doctor will ask you some questions about the injury, such as where you feel pain, how it occurred, and whether the pain sharp, shooting, or dull.

The doctor may need to check your range of motion and look for areas of tenderness, and therefore, he or she will do a physical examination.

Ascertaining that your pain is not linked to any other type of injury or degenerative disease such as arthritis will be vital for proper diagnosis and thus, your doctor might also order an X-ray. Your doctor will want to assess any inflammation or damage in the spinal cord, nerves, or soft tissues, hence the need for other tests such as MRI and CT scans.

It may be helpful to perform certain imaging tests, such as positron emission tomography (PET scan) or diffuse tensor imaging (DTI), especially when there may be a brain injury. With these tests, the doctor will be able to localize and measure the extent of an injury to your brain or other areas.

Treatment for Whiplash

Treating whiplash is relatively simple. Most doctors often prescribe an OTC pain medication, such as aspirin or Tylenol. For more severe injuries, muscle relaxants and prescription painkillers may be required to reduce muscle spasms.

In addition to the prescribed medication, physical therapy will be very important for your recovery. Applying heat or ice to the injured area and practicing simple exercises to build muscle strength and flexibility in your neck may prove vital for the recovery process.

Keeping your neck muscles from straining can help with recovery and therefore, you need to learn relaxation techniques and practice good posture.

Your doctor might also give you a foam collar to keep your neck stable. But you should not wear a collar for more than three hours at a time. Also, use a collar for the first couple of days only after your whiplash injury.

The goals of whiplash injury treatment Woodstock include:

  • Control or relieve pain
  • Restoring the normal range of motion in your neck
  • Get you back to your routine activities

Your doctor will assess the extent of your whiplash injury before recommending the appropriate treatment plan. Only over-the-counter medication and at-home care will work for some people. Others may need specialized pain treatment, physical therapy, or prescription medication.

Whiplash Injury Treatment

At Advanced Health Solutions – GA Spine & Disc, we are ready to offer you high-quality, effective, and affordable whiplash injury treatment. Call us today at (770) 212-3991 or fill out our online contact form to book an appointment.

Whiplash Injury Treatment

Whiplash Injury Treatment