Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs due to a rapid, forceful back and forth movement of the neck. It similar to the motion of cracking a whip, whiplash most often occurs during a red-end auto accident, but the injury can result in different situations like physical abuse, sports accident, or other trauma.
The most common sign and symptom of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, and headaches. Most people with whiplash recover within a few months after taking pain medication, excise, and other therapies. Some people experience chronic neck pain and other ongoing complications.
Whiplash may be called a neck sprain or strain, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries.
Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Worsening of pain with neck movement
- Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Tenderness of pain in the upper back, arms or shoulder
Some people also experience:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Sleep disturbances
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus
- Blurred Vision
When to see a Doctor
You should see a doctor if your experience any neck pain oi other whiplash symptoms following car accidents, sports injury or another traumatic injury. It is important to get a prompt and accurate diagnosis and to rule out fractures or other tissue damage that can be affecting symptoms.
Causes of Whiplash
Whiplash typically occurs when a person’s head is quickly and forcibly thrown to the back and then forward. This movement can damage bones in the spine, ligaments, muscles, disk between the bones, nerves as well as other tissues throughout the next.
The most common types of events leading to whiplash is:
Auto accidents- rear-end accidents
Physical abuse or issue – This may result in from being shaken, or punched, whiplash is one of the injuries substance in shaken baby syndrome.
Contact sports- Football takes and other collision based sports can sometimes cause whiplash injuries.
Complications from Whiplash
Most people who encounter whiplash will improve within a few months. Still, some people continue to have discomfort for several months or years after the injury has taken place.
It si difficult to predict the outcome, buy in general chronic pain may be more likely when the first symptoms include rapid onset of pain, headaches, and pain that radiates to the arms.
Test and Diagnosis of Whiplash
Typically the doctor will ask questions about the event and your symptoms as the first step. You may also be asked to feel out a brief form that can assist your doctor in understanding the severity and frequency of your symptoms, as well as your ability to do the normal daily task. T
During the examination, your doctor will need to touch and move your arms, neck, and head. He or she will ask you to move and perform simple tasks.The examination will allow your doctor to the following:
The range of motion of your neck and shoulders
Tenders in the neck, shoulders or back
The degree of motion that causes pain or increased pain.
Reflexes, strength and sensation in your limbs.
- X-ray of the neck taken from multiple angles can identify fractures, dislocation or arthritis
- Computerized tomography (CT) is a specialized X-ray technology that can produce multiple cross-sectional images of bone and reveal details of the possible bone damage.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is technology that uses radio waves and a magnetic field to produce detailed 30D images. In addition to bone fractures, MRI scans can detect some soft tissues injuries such as damage to the spinal cord disk or ligaments.
Whiplash Treatments and Medications
The goals of whiplash treatment are to restore normal range of motion in you arms, neck and head allowing you to return to normal activities. Moreover, control pain. The course of treatment will depend on the severity of your whiplash injury. For some people, over the counter drugs and at-home care may be good enough. Other people may require prescription drugs and specialized pain treatment, as well as physical therapy.
Rest –Rest can be accommodating during the first 24 hours after injury, but prolonged bed rest may hinder recovery.
Ice or heat . Employ ice or heat to the neck for 13 minutes up to six times a day.
Over-the-counter pain medications. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, other such as ibuprofen(Motrin IB, Advil and others0 Can help control mild to moderate pain from whiplash.
Prescription painkillers. Individuals with more -service pain may benefit from short-term treatment with prescription pain relievers.
Muscles relaxants These medicines may manage pain and help restore normal sleep if pain prevents you from sleeping well at night.
Injections An injection of lidocaine (Xylocaine) – numbing medicine – into painful muscle ares may be used to reduce pain so you can do physical therapy.
Your doctor will likely designate a series of stretching and mobility exercises to help a re-establish range of motion in your neck and enable you to resume usual activities. You may be encouraged to apply moist heat or to take a warm shower before exercise.
Exercises may include:
- Rotating your neck in both directions
- Tilting your head side to side
- Bending your neck to wear you chest
- Rolling your shoulders
Your doctor may also refer you to a physical therapist if you need cheap learning image of motion exercises or if you experience chronic pain from whiplash. The therapist may introduce additional excuse to strengthen pulses. Improve posture and restore normals movement. The goal is to create a unique exercise plan that will eventually you can do by yourself at home.
Soft foam cervical collars were once ordinarily used for whiplash injuries to keep the neck and head still. However, studies have shown that impairing the neck for extended periods of time can decrease muscle strength and negatively recovery.
Recommendations fro the use of a collar differs, but use is generally restricted to no more than three hours at a time during the first week after injury, when you are explaining more severe pain Your doctor may also recommend the use of a collar if it helps you sleep at night.