Whiplash is a neck injury that people often misunderstand. People also refer to it as a neck strain. Most people get confused between a neck strain and a neck sprain. These two types of injuries are different. Unlike neck strains, neck sprains result from the tearing of the ligaments that connect the bones.
Whiplash is an injury caused when a person’s head jerks forward and then backward suddenly, or vice versa. This sudden movement of the neck can damage the tendons or the muscles that connect to the bones.
Such injuries result from rear-end car accidents. Whiplash can also be a result of a fall, physical abuse, or sports-related accidents. If not treated soon, whiplash can cause long-term discomfort and pain.
Following an incident that can cause whiplash, most patients do not experience symptoms immediately. Symptoms usually develop within hours or days of the injury. Symptoms that may indicate that you have whiplash include:
If you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor. Your doctor will examine your neck by touching and moving your arms, neck, and head. During these exams, the doctor will test the range of motion in your shoulders and neck.
The sensation, strength, and reflexes of your limbs will be tested, as well the tenderness in your neck. In some cases, the doctor may order an X-ray to ensure your pain is not connected to a degenerative disease or any other type of injury.
Normally, treatment for whiplash is relatively simple. For mild cases, treatment involves the use of prescription painkillers and muscle relaxants. Patients should stay active, if possible, to regain full neck mobility. They should also do simple exercises to help build their necks’ flexibility and strength. To reduce pain and swelling, they can place a warm compress or ice on the affected area.
To be safe, your doctor may recommend physical therapy. During physical therapy, you are taught relaxation techniques to prevent straining your neck muscles. You also practice good posture, which is crucial during recovery.
More severe injuries may require the patient to seek alternative treatment. The type of treatment you get will depend on your tolerance for specific therapies, procedures, medicines, the severity of your injury, medical history, age, and overall health.
Common alternative remedies used to treat whiplash include chiropractic care and acupuncture. These treatment options are done by a qualified chiropractor who uses his hands to make manual adjustments to the spine. Such techniques help reduce pain and increase your range of motion.
To know more about dealing with whiplash, visit Frame Chiropractic & Acupuncture at our office in Toledo, Ohio. You can call (419) 573-0077 to book an appointment today.