Whiplash (sometimes referred to as neck sprain or strain) is a common neck injury that often remains undetected for a long time after an accident due to its mild headache-like symptoms. The damage usually occurs in accidents that involve rapid forward and backward movements of the head.
Specifically, whiplash occurs in two consecutive motions. Hyperextension opens your neck joint, followed by hyperflexion, which reverses the motion instantaneously. This has the potential to cause severe damage to ligaments, delicate neck tissues, and nerves.
The most common causes of whiplash include rear-end traffic accidents, sports injuries, and other similarly sudden physical trauma.
Untreated cases of whiplash might eventually lead to chronic pain. In severe cases, it can cause prolonged partial disability. Mild to moderate whiplash diagnoses in personal injury cases may result in settlement fees ranging between $2,500 to $10,000.
Common Symptoms of Whiplash
The most common physical symptoms of whiplash involve the neck area and include:
- Sporadic pain and stiffness
- Limited neck movement
Other physical symptoms include blurred vision, dizziness, ringing in the ears, memory problems, fatigue, numbness in the arms, and headaches that originate from the base of the skull. Sufferers may also face a series of psychological disturbances, including generalized irritability, depression, and insomnia due to chronic pain and restricted movement.
Some individuals may engage in social isolation due to their injuries, leading to a reduced quality of life and further health complications (i.e., high blood pressure and weakened immune systems).
Whiplash sufferers may face additional health complications if they have risk factors that include:
- Existing back and neck related injuries
- Advanced age (>70years)
- Suffering from past whiplash occurrences
- Involvement in a high-impact traffic accident
According to a medical journal, there are three primary types of whiplash with varying severities.
- Type 1 whiplash sees a delayed display of symptoms with pain limited to the neck area. Sufferers usually recover in a few weeks.
- Type 2 whiplash occurs almost immediately upon impact, characterized by intense neck pain, accompanied by spasms, and recovery may take weeks and months with chronic pain throughout the period.
- Type 3 whiplash cases display more intense pain episodes than type 2 and may involve a pinched nerve branching away from the spinal cord. Recovery might take weeks or months, with sufferers never fully healing in the most severe scenarios.
There are a few preventive measures against whiplash, depending on the scenario. Contact sports participants should always ensure a proper fit for their protective headgear to achieve maximum protection against sudden jerks. Automobile owners should position headrests carefully. The top should align or be higher than ear level.
Coping with Whiplash
A person involved in a high-impact traffic accident should immediately seek assistance from a healthcare professional. Health experts will conduct a complete physical examination to rule out more serious conditions such as fractures, hemorrhaging, and concussions. Some doctors may perform a battery of tests that include x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs to assess the skeletal structure of your neck and the surrounding tissues.
In most whiplash cases, sufferers recover within a few weeks if they receive treatment. However, in severe cases, individuals may experience chronic neck pain and disability that require sustained physiotherapy and a continuous course of painkillers. Other treatment methods include soft foam collars worn for short periods (too much rest weakens the joints and slows recovery) to relax neck muscles. Gentle neck stretches may also be helpful.
Alternate Treatment for Whiplash
Chiropractic sessions can help ease pain in the areas affected by whiplash. The chiropractic approach works gently on sensitive areas (i.e., ligaments) and reduces the tension linked to pain and trauma. Generally, chiropractic care is less taxing on injured parts than conventional casts, braces, and mainstream physiotherapy.
Corrective Chiropractic – Relieving Chronic Whiplash-related Pain
Whiplash symptoms require specialized care from qualified chiropractors who prioritize each person’s well-being and comfort. The dedicated experts at Corrective Chiropractic apply natural treatment methods that ease the pain while facilitating improved flexibility and blood flow.
Our advanced chiropractic treatment options for whiplash include:
The light therapy treatment harnesses the intrinsic healing properties of natural light to facilitate cell regeneration and recovery in parts of the body affected by soreness, pain, and stiffness. The non-invasive process can help whiplash sufferers cope more effectively by enhancing their mood and reducing inflammation.
Spinal Decompression Therapy
Spinal decompression therapy can provide whiplash sufferers with pain relief in their ligaments, spinal discs, and other parts injured during the accident. Our specialists will guide you through a personalized treatment program.
Whiplash can be a debilitating condition that causes overwhelming stress and discomfort. But this doesn’t have to be the case. With the proper rest, gentle exercise, and specialized treatment from the Corrective Chiropractic team, you can look forward to a smooth path toward recovery.
Are you currently diagnosed with whiplash and suffering its painful and lingering effects? Book an appointment with us to start feeling better and regain your quality of life.