Whiplash

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is defined as a sudden, forceful back and forth movement of the neck. The most common type of whiplash injury occurs in car accidents.  When a whiplash injury occurs, the ligaments in your neck are stretched out and your muscles violently contract in order to stabilize the neck.

Symptoms include:

Neck pain

Neck stiffness

Headaches

Feeling dizzy

Feeling tired

Memory loss

Delayed Pain

Most of the time, symptoms don’t appear for 24-48 hours. According to studies, 62% of people suffering from whiplash injuries will have pain. Only half of them will feel pain immediately.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Online investigation is not a substitute for medical attention. It’s important to get a physical examination and treatment right away, before further injury occurs. Whiplash injury that is treated will often heal over a few weeks or months. The best treatment includes a combination of therapies, dry hyrotherapy massage, assisted stretching, gentle adjusting and cold laser. Treatment at Delaware Injury Care includes all of these options and more, creating the best environment to heal as quickly as possible. 

It is important to keep good upright posture as much as possible if you have whiplash. Adjust your working environment to make sure it is ergonomically sound. In addition, a firm, yet supportive pillow will help keep your neck aligned properly while you sleep.

Prognosis

Whiplash recovery time varies from person to person. Often, patients will recover within a few months, but it is not uncommon for symptoms to last for more than a year. Pain that lasts an extended amount of time can affect activities of daily living and lead to depression and anxiety. If you have whiplash, the sooner you get treatment, the better your chances are for a speedy recovery.

Mobilization

Keeping the neck mobile is an important part of the healing process. Recent studies have shown that soft cervical collars actually slow the healing process because of the extended period of immobilization. As long as there is no damage to the spine that would require a cervical brace, a rehabilitation program designed by a chiropractor is encouraged in order to improve symptoms as soon as possible. Too much rest and immobility will have adverse effects and create a situation where symptoms could become chronic. Immobility leads to lost range of motion which leads to stiffness, increased pain and muscle atrophy. If a patient has to wear a cervical collar, treatment by a chiropractor can be used to wean them away from it and help them increase muscle strength.

If a patient becomes angry, anxious or depressed after an injury, treatment for the emotional condition will allow the patient to better understand the chances for a successful recovery.