Whiplash is not uncommon among people; one of the most common causes of whiplash among the people of Atlanta, Georgia are car accidents and sporting injuries after that.
If the whiplash is noticed, it can be treated easily. However, the problem occurs when people get whiplash and don’t pay enough attention to it; they ignore it as usual neck pain. Then, it gets severe and aches extremely. When they go for diagnoses of their neck pain, it already gets too late and they have to go through a suffering phase of pain management and whiplash treatment.
We wish that you never get to go through it. And if you think there is something wrong with your neck, don’t wait for it to get serious to go to a doctor, otherwise, you might have to go through what we described in the paragraph above.
That being said, there are other things you should know about whiplash, especially if you have been in an injury or accident where your head was suddenly jerked backward and forwards. These things include the process of diagnoses, symptoms, treatment, and pain management scenario. In fact, if you or any of your family has been involved in an accident or injury, this article is a must-read. If you know the disease well, you can easily beat it.
We always say that prevention is always better than cure. This is why having neck exercise equipment may come in very useful. Oftentimes people tend to overlook the strengthening in our neck yet this is a very crucial part of our body.
Without further delay, let’s spit out everything we know about whiplash.
Causes of Whiplash
Whiplash is basically caused by what the doctors call the sudden acceleration-deacceleration, where your neck is suddenly jerked forwards and backward.
As stated above, one of the most common causes of whiplash is car accidents. When a car gets hit or even gets stopped with brakes at the last second, the person feels a sudden movement where their neck is jerked forward and backward very quickly; it’s all a game of a second or less time, so the person doesn’t get to know instantly about what has happened. Due to the trauma, tension, and maybe other physical injuries, the person usually doesn’t pay too much attention to what has happened at the back of their neck. But, after all is done and they are safe and secure at their resting place, their neck starts to pain—which they usually ignore as “usual pain.” But there is a 99 percent chance that it is whiplash.
That person can be anyone; the driver, the person on the passenger seat, or someone who is/are sitting on the backseat. Due to the already high and increasing number of whiplash cases due to car accidents, doctors have taken a special interest in developing the best strategies and treatment plans for whiplash. In fact, you can now go to special accident doctors in Atlanta after the incident.
Apart from car accidents, whiplash can also be caused due to sporting injuries, such as football, basketball, baseball, and more. It mostly happens when one person tackles another, which results in fall or dives, causing your neck to move in an unusual pain and develop whiplash.
Other reasons include horse riding, swimming, and anything which might cause your neck to move in a quick, unusual way.
Symptoms of Whiplash
The basic symptoms of whiplash are throbbing neck pain and moderate headache. However, as it goes on without treatment, the symptoms get severe. Below is a list of symptoms categorically.
- Neck pain
- Stiffness in neck
- Pain and spasms in shoulder and arm muscles
- Loss of neck movement
- Loss of hearing
A person might or might not immediately feel the symptoms right after the injury. However, if they do feel them right after the incident, it is best to seek out the doctor and not wait for symptoms to get severe and the condition to get worse.
Diagnosis of Whiplash
When you visit the clinic, the first thing the doctor is likely to ask you and you are likely to tell the doctor are symptoms—what they are, when do they occur, how often, and anything that might help the doctor conduct a diagnosis.
After that, you will be examined through the physical movement of the neck, shoulders, head, and arms. Reflexes, tenderness, range of motion, strength, sensation, numbness, and other factors will be checked to determine your condition. Although these physical tests are usually enough to diagnose whiplash, your doctor might still write you some imaging tests to make sure there are no other conditions. These tests include X-rays, which can determine if you have arthritis, fracture, or bone dislocation, CT scans, and MRI scans, which will check for bone injuries, tissue injuries, spinal cord damage, and damage to the discs and ligaments.
With the help of these physical examinations and imaging tests, the doctor will give their verdict. In the case where whiplash is diagnosed, below is a treatment process that will follow.
Treatment of Whiplash
There are multiple steps and measures to treat whiplash. If one doesn’t work for a while, the doctors suggest a different measure, it all depends on the severeness of your injury. Some people only require medicines and rests, others need as much as physical therapy and foam collar. All the steps lead to the goals which are to control pain, restore normal range of motion in the neck, and get you to return to your old healthy life.
To manage the pain, the doctor will plan out a treatment routine for you that would include the following:
Heat or Cold
Heat pads applied to the neck for 15 minutes every 3 hours can help reduce the swelling and make you feel better. If the heat doesn’t work, try ice packs. However, the doctor might recommend you a foam collar which might prevent that, and it’s okay.
Rest is the most important factor of all. It is recommended that you completely rest for a day or two after the diagnosis of whiplash, but don’t forget to be active once in a while. Too much rest can postpone the recovery date.
Over-the-counter drugs are most likely to help you through the pain. However, it is better to take the doctor’s advice before calling the shots. Because if your case is severe, the doctor might prescribe you some hard-core medications and antidepressants which can tone down your intense pain. Apart from that, people also use muscle relaxants to get a good night’s sleep without worrying about the pain too much.
Physical therapy is an important part of the recovery for those who want to go a step further in their recovery process. Doctors recommend the injection of lidocaine to make your painful areas numb, so you can do physical therapy without feeling pain.
Exercise can speed up the recovery process, but it is important to remember that you cannot every exercise in your condition. It is important to check in with an instructor or doctor before you do exercises.
Although we tried our best to guide you about causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of whiplash, it was all for knowledge and preparations for whatever might come. Do not try to cook up remedies based on this article. If you feel any pain or stiffness in your neck, contact a whiplash doctor in Atlanta right now.