In our daily life, we involve ourselves in a lot of physical activities, such as driving, waiting in line at the bank, playing sports, running through the staircase, and more. Most of the time, we get the job done excellently; other times, we find ourselves in an unfortunate accident during such activities, which takes a physical toll on us. That is how we acquire bodily strains and injuries, such as whiplash.
Whiplash is a serious kind of neck injury that causes immense neck pain—that can spread even further—and the inability to move the neck for several days (unless the condition becomes lasting, then it is more than several days). Whiplash is usually caused due to intense and rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. Well, of course, no one intentionally moves their neck to strain it; accidental injuries are the leading causes of whiplash.
People usually call it strain or neck sprain, but these words can also be used to describe other types of mild neck injuries. Whiplash, on the other hand, is a more serious kind of neck pain; it only occurs when the neck gets jerked with a force that it cannot take, and it can even get chronic if not treated medically. Therefore, learning the difference between a usual neck sprain and whiplash is crucial.
As for causes, rear-ended car accidents that jerk your neck suddenly is the most common one. A less common one is sporting injuries that are caused by body force, physical tackles, or falls, and trigger whiplash.
People who are patients of whiplash disorder are recommended to rest and avoid doing any neck-involved activity; this usually gets them better in a couple of weeks. However, if whiplash is on a severe scale, then an injured person has to follow a proper care and treatment plan, including professionally recommended exercise and prescribed medication. Moreover, if there is an occurrence of chronic neck pain and other long-term complications, chiropractic treatment is the best option. If you aren’t clear about your condition, it is best that you immediately contact a professional, certified chiropractor for whiplash treatment in Snellville.
Symptoms of Whiplash
You may not even realize that whiplash has occurred immediately after the incident. Symptoms usually take a couple of days to emerge, which include the following:
● Pain in shoulder, arms, or upper back
● Neck pain
● Tingling in arms
● Numbness in arms
● Neck stiffness
● Tenderness in shoulder
● Worsening of the pain as the neck moves
● Intense fatigue
● Intense skull-based headaches
Symptoms mentioned above mostly occur in people who have mild whiplash. But there are more severe and profound symptoms that occur in a rare amount of people who suffer from whiplash-associated disorder—a very critical condition with much distress. These symptoms include:
● Memory loss
● Mental illness
● Intense irritability
● Blurring sight
● Tinnitus (hearing problems)
● Psychological distress
● Lack of sleepiness
● Lack of concentration
Causes of Whiplash
As stated above, whiplash can be caused due to a lot of different reasons, most common of which are rear-end car accidents and sports injuries.
Typically, whiplash occurs when your head is thrown backward and forward at once with full force, something which happens when the car gets hit or the sportsman gets tackled. The sudden and quick back-and-forth motion triggers the shock in the spine and injures the disks between bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments, and other internal tissues of the neck.
Other scenarios in which people can cause whiplash to occur include falling down from steps or being involved in a physical assault when you are punched, strangled, or shaken. Moreover, experiencing an amusement ride—such as a roller coaster—can also sprain the neck enough to trigger whiplash. Intense horse riding, where the rider repeatedly cracks the whip, can also cause whiplash. Overall, any such sporting activity, household activity, or incident where the neck feels intense moving pressure can result in whiplash.
The scale of pain in or disability of the neck in whiplash depends on how intensely or badly the neck was sprained in the incident. However, the whiplash case can automatically get severe—even if the incident wasn’t that intense—if a person has pre-existing conditions, such as having had whiplash before, existing neck or back pain, and older age. How bad the situation actually is can only be determined by a doctor after performing x-rays.
Treatment of Whiplash
Typically, the whiplash can be healed in a few days with proper rest and medication and doesn’t leave any lasting remarks. However, some people feel the pain for months and do not manage to bring themselves to total recovery because they have their own capacity and speed of recovering from such physical injuries. That being said, another reason why a person might recover very slowly is their pre-existing conditions described above.
If someone already has pre-existing conditions and occurs whiplash, their case can get severe, and the treatment becomes challenging. Those are the same people who exhibit rare and intense symptoms in their initial days of injury, such as extreme neck pain, limited hearing, lack of concentration, spreading of pain to shoulders and arms, and limited or none at all movement of the neck. In cases where such symptoms are underestimated and not treated immediately, the patient is more likely to develop chronic pain and illness.
That is why it is said that however light or ordinary a symptom may be, don’t underestimate it as a usual neck sprain after an incident. Contact a doctor immediately after the shock because whiplash is a serious disorder, and it can get even more problematic if not treated on time.
A lot of people ask if they should contact a doctor only on severe symptoms and ignore the ordinary ones. Well, most officials recommend that you see your doctor if you develop symptoms of whiplash after an incident—such as an accident or a sporting injury—which is absolutely right.
However, if your neck is straining not because of any accident or injury but because of usual household activity, there is still no need to ignore it. It is better to get an accurate and prompt diagnose and rule out the possibility of broken bones or disks that cause whiplash. Once you are sure that whiplash hasn’t occurred, you can go back to your routine. It is better to be safe than sorry.