Whiplash is among the most common injuries that people incur after a car crash. It refers to an injury to the neck, characterized by a collection of symptoms that occur due to it. Various structures including inter-vertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles and nerve roots can incur damage due to the injury. When we take a look at the list of auto accidents, we will find that this is among the most common complaints that people have after a car accident.
The injury is caused by sudden movement of the head and neck. The symptoms might not start appearing till 24 hours following the accident. The symptoms that usually manifest due to this injury include neck stiffness and pain, lower back pain, headache, shoulder pain, numbness in arm and hand, dizziness, and sleep disturbances among other things.
The diagnosis of the injury usually cannot be made via x-ray since it is the soft tissues which are most often affected. Thus, it is specialized imaging tests such as CT and MRI which are used to diagnose the damage and whiplash.
If it is treatment that we talk about, it depends on the presentation of the symptoms. Many patients benefit a great deal from a chiropractic treatment. Pain relief can be acquired via the pain relieving medications. Physical therapy, massage, and exercises can also prove to be helpful.
Initially, the concept was to treat the injury by means of a cervical collar to immobilize the area. However, it is now believed that early mobilization should be commenced. Following a car crash, it is advisable to make use of an ice massage for the first 24 hours along with encouraging gentle movement in the region, which promotes healing.
It has been seen that many people are diagnosed with whiplash quite late. This is because they ignore the pain and attribute it to simple soreness due to the accident. This can be dangerous. Following an accident, it is important that close monitoring is acquired so as to ensure that timely intervention can be attained.