Whiplash refers to a neck injury that is caused by the sudden movement of the head forwards, backwards and sideways. It is almost always associated with auto accidents. The sudden and vigorous jerking of the head from side to side, front and backwards damages the ligaments and tendons in the neck. It is this damage that causes pain and discomfort.
Symptoms of whiplash
- Neck pain and discomfort brought by stiffness
- The neck muscles are tender to touch
- Limited and painful neck movements
- Shoulder pain
- Upper back pain
Most whiplash symptoms for Jacksonville patients do not develop until after 6 to 12 hours. Some my even develop after a day or two or even after a week in extreme cases.
Causes of whiplash
- Auto accidents are the main cause of whiplash. When cars and motorcycles are involved in an accident, the sudden stops make the head to make jerking movements which causes whiplash.
- A sudden blow to the head can also cause whiplash. This could be in a fight or in contact sports.
- A slips or falls are also causes of whiplash.
A description of the symptoms and an explanation of how sudden head movements could have happened is usually enough to confirm case of whiplash. Your doctor could also feel for tenderness in the neck muscles.
Scans like the MRI and X-rays are only applied when a fracture or other serious problem is suspected.
Some basic treatment will treat whiplash though most pain and discomfort will go away on their own. Contrary to what people may think, it is better to have some movement of the neck after whiplash other than securing it with a brace. If the pain is not too much, keeping the neck in motion aids in recovery and faster return to full functionality.
Medication can also be used to ease the pain if it persists. Common painkillers like paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can be taken.
When whiplash lasts for more than six months, it is referred to as chronic whiplash or the late whiplash syndrome. Its treatment will be symptom based.
Most cases of whiplash don’t end up with complications. In fact, the symptoms will just disappear on their own without leaving any lasting damage. In a few isolated cases, chronic whiplash might be witnessed. While it will not be intense pain, prolonged whiplash will have an effect on daily activities and leisure. This may cause anxiety and depression in some cases. Your doctor should review the whiplash and give appropriate treatment from a great chiropractor so that you can get back to your normal life. If a more serious problem is the cause of chronic whiplash, the doctor will advise on the ay ford in its treatment.