Whiplash Signs, Symptoms, And Treatment Facts That You Need To Know

Health & Medical Blog

Auto accidents are scary-- even small ones. If you're lucky, you get through the accident without major injury. But, even if you think you've walked away from the wreck unharmed, signs and symptoms of whiplash could develop over the next 24 hours. Because of this, if you've been in a car accident, it's important that you understand how to spot the signs and symptoms of whiplash, as well as know what to do to get treatment.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is neck strain that's caused when the neck is forced to move back and forth rapidly, in a movement that's similar to the movement of a cracking whip. While whiplash is commonly caused by car accidents where the injured person has been rear-ended, whiplash can also occur for other types of trauma to the head that has caused the neck to move forcefully.

Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash

It's common for whiplash symptoms to develop slowly, so you need to pay attention to the way your body feels after you've been in a car accident. Some symptoms to look for include:

  • Neck pain or stiffness that sometimes worsens when you move your neck
  • Inability to move your head side to side or up and down without pain
  • Headaches that start at the base of your skull
  • Pain or tenderness in your upper back, shoulders, or arms
  • Numb or tingling in the arms
  • Fatigue or dizziness

Whiplash Treatment

There are several ways that doctors treat whiplash. Your doctor may prescribe a painkiller and/or and injection of lidocaine to numb the muscles in your neck so that you can complete neck exercises without a lot of pain. A rotation of ice and heat, as well as over-the-counter painkillers, are also often used to treat whiplash.

Alternatively, you can have whiplash treated by a chiropractor. To treat whiplash, an auto accident chiropractor will review the x-rays of your neck to determine what type of treatment is needed. After reviewing your x-rays, your chiropractor will treat both the soft tissue and joints in your neck as needed. Like doctors, chiropractors commonly recommend at-home exercises as part of whiplash treatment. The recommended exercises might include:

  • Rolling your shoulders
  • Rotating your neck in both directions
  • Tilting your head from side to side

If whiplash develops after you're involved in a car accident, it's important that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you receive proper medical treatment, the sooner your neck can begin to heal. So, contact your doctor or an auto accident chiropractor like one from Citrus Chiropractic Group to have x-rays completed any time you're involved in a car wreck.


17 January 2016

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