Before knowing the treatment of whiplash injury, you must first know the causes behind it. The leading cause of whiplash injury is directly connected to automobile accidents, where drivers act irresponsibly, such as talking on their cell phones or to other passengers while driving, consequently, increasing the chances of colliding with another vehicle.
In fact, people who use cell phones while driving are responsible for over 1.6 million car accidents each year throughout the United States (according to The National Safety Council). Of these accidents, over 330,000 people suffer some injury, including (mainly) whiplash.
Whiplash injury is not only limited to neck or muscle damage but also nerve root pain that negatively impacts the movability of a victim.
Whiplash injury is a serious condition that requires immediate medical expertise to avoid any long-term damage and chronic pain. When your body is exposed to a sudden pressure that forces your neck to jerk sideways or across, it increases the chances of cervical spine injury.
Whiplash injuries can also occur at extremely low speeds, which means the gravity of the situation typically depends on whether you were properly restrained when the collision took place or not.
In addition to that, whiplash can also occur in rear-end car collisions, which are the most common cause of whiplash injuries. When this kind of situation occurs, the muscles that run throughout your neck become restricted and create a tremendous amount of pain that can prevent you from going through your daily chores.
Symptoms of whiplash can greatly vary depending on the intensity of the accident, the most common complaint being affected with cervical pain, headache, and shoulder pain.
Vertigo and dizziness are also reported in 25–50% of the cases. Some of the widest symptoms include:
- Chronic pain
- Burning and tingling sensations in the neck that radiate down the arms into the fingers.
- Dizziness or fatigues
- The tightness and muscle tension in the neck and upper back.
- Jaw pain
- Swelling of the muscle tissue
Treatment of Whiplash
The goals of whiplash treatment are to:
- Eradicating pain that may disturb you later
- Restoring the motion of your neck
- Enabling you to be independent in your normal activities once again.
Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of your whiplash injury. Some people might only need over-the-counter medication at a local pharmacy, but others may need prescription medication, specialized pain treatment, or even physical therapy.
Some treatment methods that a neck doctor might recommend you are:
Rest. Rest may be helpful for a couple of days after your injury, but too much bed rest may delay recovery.
Heat or cold therapy. Either heat or cold applied to the neck for 15 to 20 minutes every couple of hours or so can help you feel better. Applying moist heat to the painful area or taking a warm shower may be recommended before any prescribed exercise.
Over-the-counter pain medications. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), often can control mild to moderate chronic pain caused by whiplash.
Prescription medications. People with more-severe pain may be given established antidepressant drugs that have been superior to relieve nerve pain.
Muscle relaxants. Short-term use of these medicines may be suggested to loosen tight muscles and soothe the pain. The medicine also can make you feel dizzy. It may be used to help bring back normal good-night-sleep, only if pain prevents you from getting a rest.
Chiropractic care. Usually, people living with chronic pain opt for common treatments to cure it, such as ice or heating pads, painkillers, etc. However, these methods don’t tend to always work and provide relief. However, chiropractic treatment has always ensured quick and effective recovery, how unconventional it might seem.
Those who have been hurt in a car wreck and have suffered from whiplash might need chiropractic attention, for which you need to schedule an appointment with chiropractors for the whiplash injury treatment in Marietta.
The healing of a whiplash injury without professional care would be somewhat like healing a broken bone without first setting it. If the whiplash injury does not receive proper physical care such as cervical spinal adjustments, the body itself might mend the injured spine in a distorted shape which can result in terrible chronic pain and may cause other severe problems in the future.
It takes less time to heal and it is much less costly to treat the whiplash injury immediately after noticing the symptoms than it is to wait for days and weeks for the treatment.
Life after treatment takes a little bit of time and effort to adjust. Even though chiropractic care will solve the major problem, you still need to focus on managing your pain to prevent chronic conditions.
Pain Management after Treatment
Your doctor will likely prescribe a series of physical exercises, such as stretching and other movement exercises for you to do at home, to manage your pain. These exercises can help restore muscles of motion in your neck and get you back to your normal lifestyle.
Exercises may follow:
- Rotating your neck in both directions
- Tilting your head side to side
- Bending your neck toward your chest
- Rolling your shoulders
These techniques are aimed at your pain relief and help you get back to a pain-free life.
It’s very important that you treat whiplash immediately and responsibly because if it goes untreated, some common long-term conditions could be:
- Chronic back pain
- Chronic shoulder pain
- Loss of normal cervical curve
- Visual disturbances.
Recovery is as important as the treatment and the time it takes to recover depends on how serious your whiplash is. In some cases, it can be resolved in a few treatments, but other cases might take a month or more to heal.
One thing to remember is that everyone heals at a different rate.
Once the acute symptoms of neck strain and tissue damage are gone, your chiropractor will want you to start your rehabilitation, which will eventually lead to your healthy recovery.
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