Whiplash Treatment Near Me
Whiplash Treatment Near Me: Do Whiplash Injuries Require Treatment?
Whiplash is a neck injury that typically occurs from a forceful trauma, like a rear-end car accident. Neck pain is one of the most common symptoms people experience after being involved in a car accident. And that is no surprise because the head and neck are relatively unsupported and unstable during high-impact collisions. However, what is a surprise is how many people choose not to see a doctor for proper medical examination and whiplash treatment near me after being in a car crash.
You may think that your neck pain is mild and will heal itself within a few days of rest. Unfortunately, your pain could be a warning sign of one of the most common car crash injuries: a whiplash injury.
While common, whiplash is often ignored, undiagnosed, mistreated, or not treated at all. It is a very poorly understood condition, but it causes serious symptoms and requires proper medical care and treatment by a trained specialist.
Whiplash injuries occur when a forceful impact (commonly from behind) causes the head and neck to snap forward and back in an abrupt, violent motion. It’s commonly seen in car accidents, and some contact sports, such as football, can lead to whiplash injuries.
Keep reading to learn more about whiplash and why you should undergo a medical evaluation for any type of neck pain following a traumatic accident.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the head and neck are jerked back and forth in a rapid motion. The forceful movement strains and damages the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves in the neck.
A whiplash injury can also cause injury to the spine and spinal discs. Rear-end motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of whiplash and even low-speed car accidents can cause a neck injury. However, whiplash can also be the result of falls, sports accidents, amusement park rides, and physical abuse.
Symptoms may be present immediately after an accident, or they may not appear for several days. Some people experience very mild symptoms, while others find themselves in excruciating pain. Here are common signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Neck pain
- Difficulty moving the neck
- Reduced range of motion
- Headaches that begin at the base of the skull
- Pain that radiates to the shoulders, upper back, and arms
- Weakness, numbness, or tingling that radiates to the shoulders and arms
More severe cases may cause symptoms like back pain, jaw pain, fatigue, blurred vision, irritability or mood changes, dizziness, concentration/memory issues, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), sleep changes, or depression.
You should always see a doctor if you experience pain or other symptoms after a traumatic accident. Don’t assume your injury is minor and will heal on its own. Whiplash is a serious condition that requires medical care and treatment for proper healing.
Failing to receive the proper medical care for whiplash could increase your chances of having long-term pain and symptoms. The term chronic whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) refers to chronic pain and symptoms stemming from an acute whiplash injury.
How Is It Treated?
Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of your whiplash injury. The goal of whiplash treatment near me is to minimize pain and restore normal range of motion in the neck. After assessing your condition, your doctor may prescribe a combination of the following:
- Ice and heat therapy – Directly following an accident, apply ice packs to your neck several times a day to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. After the first few days, you can switch to heat packs or alternate between the two. Heat can help reduce pain and soothe sore, tight tissues in your neck.
- Medications – Over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve mild to moderate pain. If you are having severe pain or muscle spasms, your doctor might prescribe a stronger painkiller or muscle relaxants.
- Exercises and stretching – Your doctor can give you gentle stretching and range of motion exercises to start as soon as you can move without too much pain. Ideally, you should begin gentle movement within 1 or 2 days after sustaining your injury to prevent the neck muscles from getting stiff and weak. Exercises might include gentle rotation movements, tilting the neck side to side, tilting the neck up and down, and rolling the shoulders.
- Physical therapy – Once you have started healing, your doctor might recommend a course of physical therapy. A therapist will work with you to strengthen the neck muscles and continue restoring the full range of motion.
- Alternative therapies – Alternative therapies like chiropractic manipulation, massage, or acupuncture help some people reduce pain and muscle stiffness.
In the past, common medical advice to treat whiplash included resting, wearing a cervical collar, and immobilizing the neck. And it is natural to want to rest for several days if you are experiencing neck pain, tenderness, and difficulty moving. It is OK to rest for the first few days after sustaining your injury, but there are hidden dangers of too much rest.
Research shows that prolonged immobilization may lead to increased pain, stiffness, weakness, a longer recovery period, and a greater chance of developing long-term pain and symptoms.
Current medical care includes starting gentle movement and range of motion exercises as early as can be tolerated. Early range of motion is associated with a faster recovery period and a greater chance of recovering completely.
What Is the Prognosis?
With proper care and whiplash treatment near me, many people fully recover from whiplash within a few weeks to a few months. To make a complete recovery, it is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for movement and activity. If you jump back into your normal activities too quickly, you run the risk of injuring yourself further.
Unfortunately, because whiplash is still so poorly understood, many patients don’t get the proper treatment plan they need to heal. If you’re in a motor vehicle accident and experience neck pain afterward, we recommend seeing a medical specialist with the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and treat whiplash injuries. At Advanced Health Solutions – GA Spine & Disc, our board-certified doctors specialize in car accident injuries like soft tissue damage and whiplash.
Some people have persistent pain and symptoms from whiplash for several months or even years after being injured. Long-term effects may include chronic headaches, chronic pain, memory/concentration issues, or depression.
You might be at higher risk of having long-term effects if you experienced severe symptoms and pain, are older, had a previous case of whiplash or had existing low back or neck pain. Luckily, many people recover completely without chronic symptoms.
The goals of whiplash treatment are to:
- Control pain
- Restore normal range of motion in your neck
- Get you back to your normal activities
Your treatment plan will depend on the extent of your whiplash injury. Some people only need over-the-counter medication and at-home care. Others may need prescription medication, specialized pain treatment, or physical therapy.
Preparing for Your Appointment
If you have been in a car accident, you might receive care on the scene or in an emergency room. However, a whiplash injury may not cause symptoms immediately. If you have neck pain and other symptoms after an injury, see your doctor or an urgent care center for whiplash treatment near me as soon as possible.
Be prepared to describe in detail the event that may have caused your symptoms and to answer the following questions.
- How would you rate your neck pain on a scale of 1 to 10?
- Does movement make the pain worse?
- How long after the event did the symptoms appear?
- What other symptoms do you have?
- Have you had neck pain in the past, or do you experience it regularly?
- Have you tried any medications or other treatments to relieve the pain? If so, what was the effect?
- What medications do you take regularly, including dietary supplements and herbal medicines?
Whiplash Treatment Near Me
If you have been in a car accident and need treatment for your injuries, contact Advanced Health Solutions – GA Spine & Disc today for medical evaluation and treatment. Our board-certified doctors have vast experience treating common car crash injuries like whiplash, concussions, soft tissue damage, fractures, and spine damage.
So, if you need whiplash treatment near me call us today at (770) 212-3991 or fill out our online contact form to make an appointment so that you can be examined properly by our highly qualified and experienced doctor.
Whiplash Treatment Near Me