“Whiplash” is a commonly known injury usually associated with car accidents. It is a type of neck injury that results from the sudden, forceful back-and-forth motion of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Most people will get better within a few weeks,” however, this does not mean it should be brushed aside as a minor injury. You should never ignore whiplash! Sometimes these injuries can result in long-term and chronic pain. Here is everything you need to know about whiplash.
What can I do about Whiplash?
With rest, pain medication, and exercise, symptoms usually subside in a few weeks. Try to avoid resting the area for multiple days after the injury, as this can lead to stiffness and prolonged soreness. Ease into your normal activities slowly (with your doctors approval) and make use of the R.I.C.E. method for recovery. You may want to consider Physical Therapy as well. Whatever questions you may have, don’t be shy – ask your doctor for help.
What causes Whiplash?
Any type of trauma- rear end car accidents, abuse, sports injuries, roller coasters, and sports related injuries
What are symptoms of Whiplash?
Within a few days of the injury you may experience:
-Neck pain and stiffness
-Worsening of pain with neck movement
-Loss of range of motion in the neck
-Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
-Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms
-Tingling or numbness in the arms
-Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
If it heals by itself, why should I see a doctor?
While most cases of Whiplash heal within a few weeks naturally, it is important to rule out other complications (like broken bones) as close to the time of injury as possible.
Why you should Never ignore Whiplash
After experiencing trauma, most people just want to move past the incident as quickly as possible, and return to their normal lives. You may be tempted to ignore the symptoms of Whiplash if it isn’t a “serious” injury, but this can be a horrible mistake. Ignoring whiplash can lead to long term complications such as chronic pain, and difficulties in your daily activities.
Ask for help!
If you are uncertain if you are experiencing whiplash, your symptoms don´t subside in a timely manner, or your symptoms worsen, don´t hesitate! Schedule an appointment with a compassionate, knowledgeable Physician today.