Whiplash can have a sneak attack. For the first couple hours or days, you may not have any symptoms and then suddenly they come on full blast. Whiplash can sometimes be mild to very painful. Let us take a deeper dig into what whiplash is, the symptoms, and some treatments available to help.
Whiplash is All Too Common. Did you know that over one million people every year get whiplash according to Neurosurgeon.com? That is in just car accidents alone. That is a lot of people! A lot of people never get help with the condition until they have had the pain for an extended amount of time. Approximately 40% never fully heal.
What are the Symptoms of Whiplash?
Kennedy Chiropractic, a chiropractor in Waldorf, MD, says on their website that whiplash symptoms include a pain in the neck and back. They can come on suddenly or gradually appear. Common symptoms that occur when someone may have whiplash is as follows:
- Neck or back pain.
- Chest Pain
- Throat Pain
- Fatigue or tiredness.
- Arm pain or weakness.
- Pain in the jaw.
- Vision issues or disturbances.
- A ringing in the ear.
Sometimes people who have whiplash develop other conditions. These usually occur when the condition has become chronic. When whiplash is considered a chronic condition due to its on-going length, it is then called whiplash associated syndrome. Below are the common conditions associated with that.
- PTSD due to the cause of the whiplash.
- Mood Changes.
- Anxiety and/or depression. These two can go hand in hand.
How Do You Know If You Have Whiplash?
If you are having any of the symptoms above, it is best to take a trip to the doctor or chiropractor. A doctor can tell if it is whiplash by doing a few simple tests. These tests are painless and necessary to detect the whiplash and see if there may be any underlining cause for your symptoms. Some of the tests are as followed:
- Cat Scans
These tests do not take a long time to perform and the most pain you get out of them is by turning your back or neck in an uncomfortable position. You are not forcing your back or neck to turn in a way that hurts, simply uncomfortable at most and only until the test is over. A cervical collar is sometimes used to keep the neck in place until results are issued.
What Are the Treatment Options for Whiplash?
The treatments for whiplash varies greatly on each individuals line of symptoms and damage to the neck or back. Treatment for whiplash deals greatly in good communication with your doctor. Your doctor may need to try several different approaches to find the treatment best for you.
The Cervical Collars.
A common treatment for whiplash used to be wearing a cervical collar for several weeks until the whiplash had subsided and been giving time to heal the injury. That is not the case so much anymore. Professionals state that the use of cervical collars cause immobility making the injury take longer to heal.
Rest is Best.
It seems that in recent years, the best approach to an effective healing is the amount of rest. Doctors were saying that an excessive amount of rest is what it takes to get the whiplash to heal fully. This has been known to cause chronic whiplash. So, what do they do then? It hurts to move it, so how do you heal?
Education is the Key
Pain management and education are what seem to be the cure for whiplash. Oh, and time. To heal, one needs to know how not to reinjure themselves. You see, patients that are educated on how to treat themselves and care for their injury, are given better chances at a full recovery. Here are some treatments:
- Ice and heat. You should apply ice or heat to your neck or back at least 6 times a day. This aids the healing process.
- Take time to rest. This won’t be excessive resting, but the first couple of days need rest and then limit your activities afterward.
- Muscle relaxers. The are prescribed by the doctor. They relax the muscles, so the pain can lessen, and the injury can heal.
- These are prescribed by a doctor. They are stronger than any pain reliever over the counter and should be taken strictly as directed.
- Over the counter pain relief. This is Advil, Motrin, Tylenol, etc.
- This helps with the pain and can help the healing process.
You can find more treatment information in this link for the Mayoclinic.com.
Other Important Information.
As with any drug there are risks. Sometimes and addiction can happen when taking over the counter pain killers. Make sure to be diligent and use just as directed or less. Medicinenet.com has more info in the link about whiplash. Also, this youtube.com video should be checked out if you are looking for more info. God bless, and I hope you get well soon!