Whiplash is a condition where the neck is jerked suddenly in one direction to another. Causing a whipping motion, similar to the cracking of a whip.
It can occurs with sports injuries and car accidents. Whiplash can also be called a neck strain.
Difference between Neck Strains and Neck Sprains
The cause of a neck sprain is torn ligaments and tissues in the bones. Neck strains are caused by muscle damage. Despite the differences, the causes, symptoms, and treatment of neck sprains and neck strains are generally the same.
Symptoms of Whiplash
- Declining range of motion, pain, and tension in the neck
- Pain when moving your head from side to side
- Pain when moving your head and looking at each shoulder.
- Headaches that spread out throughout the forehead
- Numbness and pain in arms and hands
- Muscle spasm
- A loss or reduction in the ability to move the neck
- Soreness in the neck
- Neck stiffness
- Ringing in ears
- Sleep disturbances
- Blurred or altered vision
Most of the time, the pain from a neck strain is felt immediately, but sometimes, it can take several hours or even days before the neck begins to have pain. If you have weakness, trouble talking, and a headache that gets worse, it is essential that you seek medical attention right away. You should not generalize treatment, because each case of whiplash is different.
Patients who have a whiplash injury and receive treatment right away suffer significantly less long-term effects than those who delay treatment or receive no treatment at all. Long-term consequences of untreated whiplash are chronic pain, loss of mobility function, lasting damage to the bones and nervous system, as well as, accelerated degeneration of the cervical spine. Whiplash can be threatening to health if one experiences severe pain, neck instability, or numbness that passes through shoulder. This is the main reason why visiting the chiropractor for proper diagnosis and treatment is so important for the health of the patient.
Treatments for Whiplash
- Muscle stimulation
- Flexion-distraction technique
- Instrument-assisted manipulation
The Course of Whiplash Pain
Most people who experience whiplash will completely recover in three months time. But according to studies, a significant number of patients will have a chronic pain sometimes for years.
Factors that increase the risk for delayed recovery:
- Severe pain
- Post-traumatic stress
- Older age
- Being a female
Call or visit your chiropractor if you have experienced a whiplash injury.