Whiplash Injury is one of the most common injuries that an individual can experience after a car accident. Many individuals consider this type of injury as an “overly exaggerated cause” but the truth lies behind the symptoms and the impact of whiplash on the human body.
We can say that whiplash is a real injury and the symptoms if not treated properly and on-time can cause long-term complications.
While many cases seeking whiplash treatment in Marietta have recovered almost immediately, the severity and intensity of the injury is dependent on a few factors that may vary from person to person.
To understand this better, it is important that you understand what whiplash is and what its impact is.
What is Whiplash? – Definition
Doctors and medical professionals define whiplash as CAD which is an abbreviation for “cervical acceleration-deceleration”. This is a complex medical terminology but luckily it can be explained in easier words.
If we talk about the simpler definition of whiplash, it generally means damage to the soft tissues in your neck. The soft tissues are damaged because of a sudden forward and backward jerk that causes the symptoms of whiplash to appear.
Areas Affected By Whiplash
The most important part of dealing with this is to understand the body parts that are affected during the injury.
Usually, it has a strong impact on the soft tissues, tendons, muscles, and nerves in the neck this can also impact the spine in severe cases.
Causes of Whiplash Injury
Auto crashes are by far the most frequent source of whiplash in Marietta. This can be proved because of the number of people seeking whiplash injury treatment in Marietta. For a fact, rear-end collisions are directly proportional to a whiplash injury.
Although whiplash will happen in an incident when someone’s head or neck is violently shaken back and forth but there are certain cases that can promote whiplash without the victim being in a car.
Many specific sources of whiplash include:
- Roller coasters and other theme park attractions
- Skiing crashes
- Contact-sport incidents (e.g. wrestling, basketball, contact sports, karate, etc.)
- Physical abuse/assault
- Horseback riding
- Slipping from stairs
Remember that don’t mix whiplash injury with Blood Blister which is a different term.
The symptoms don’t start to appear after a few hours however, in certain cases, it can take a few days for the symptoms to fully appear. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Reduced range of motion
- Increase in the pain after any movement
- Headache initiating from the core of the skull
- Tenderness in the shoulders, arms or spine
- Tingling and numbness in the upper body
- Nausea and fatigue
The above-mentioned symptoms are extremely common and are found in almost all cases. However, in certain complex cases, patients may feel additional symptoms. These include:
- Blurry vision
- Disturbed sleeping pattern
- Irritation and mood swings
- Issues in focusing
- Memory loss
- Depression and constant headache
These symptoms if not treated properly might lead to chronic problems in your neck and upper body. Therefore, for the sake of health, try not to avoid all these problems whenever they occur.
Complications caused by whiplash
Many people who seek on-time treatment and also perform self-care activities at home tend to get better in a matter of a few weeks. However, based on the severity of the injury and also age and health factors tend to suffer for months or years to come.
If the initial injury has been extremely intense and severe, the patient is likely to suffer for a longer period of time.
If the symptoms of whiplash include:
- Extreme neck pain
- Extremely limited range of motion
- Pain starting from head going to the arms
Risk factors for an even worse result
Some of the risk factors that might contribute to the injury getting worse and difficult to treat over time are:
- The existing situation of whiplash
- Old Age
- High-speed accident
- Existing neck or spine pain
Your doctors will perform tests and devise a treatment plan that suits the needs related to your current situation. Your doctor will emphasize on:
- Controlling the pain
- Restoring the normal range of motion
- Restarting the normal life activities
To make sure that you reach the goals, the will put you through a series of tests and treatments. The tests might include a series of physical examinations and imaging tests like x-rays, CT-Scan or MRI in severe cases.
Your doctor would typically recommend a set of relaxation and activity activities for you to perform at home. Such activities will help recover the range of motion in your neck and bring you back to your usual life. It might be advised to add wet heat to a sore region or to take a warm shower before exercise.
Exercises can include:
- Rotating your neck in both directions
- Tilting your head to your side
- Tilting your neck to your chest
- Rolling your shoulders
If you experience persistent whiplash symptoms or require help with range-of-motion exercises, your doctor can encourage you to see a physical therapist. Physical therapy can make you sleep stronger to avoid more injuries. Your physical trainer will lead you through workouts aimed at strengthening your body, maintaining flexibility and returning natural activity.
Your doctor will help you go through a series of medicinal courses to ensure that you don’t suffer from pain throughout the treatment plan.
Over the counter medicines
Pain killers like Tylenol; ibuprofen can assist in controlling the pain. People with bad pain may also be given anti-depressants to relieve nerve pain.
These will help loosen the tight muscles and also to soothe the pain.
Lidocaine is a numbing medicine often used to relieve painful areas in the muscular region. This is also used to decrease the pain so you can sleep peacefully.
Whiplash is a common injury during an accident. This happens when the to and fro motion ruptures the tendons in the neck and causes extreme pain. It is important to seek medical attention immediately.