Does the thought of being in an accident frighten you? If so, you aren’t alone.
When it comes to a potential injury, the most common is due to whiplash. And if you have ever been involved in a minor accident, chances are you have felt the effects.
So what is whiplash injury? Keep reading for all the answers and more!
What is a Whiplash Injury
Whiplash is a common spinal cord injury. It occurs when the head moves suddenly backward and then forward in a quick, jerking motion.
Most whiplashes are relatively minor and can get treated with rest and medications. In more serious cases, physical therapy or even surgery may be needed. These injuries can occur both in auto accidents and during other traumatic events.
No matter how minor or severe, it is a painful and potentially debilitating injury. It can cause a range of symptoms.
Also, it can lead to psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. In extreme cases, it can even result in permanent disability.
How is Whiplash Injury Diagnosed
Whiplash is usually diagnosed with a physical examination. If the doctor suspects an injury, they will typically ask a series of questions.
If a physical examination does not reveal any soft tissue damage, the doctor may order diagnostic imaging tests. These can include an MRI, X-ray, or CT scan. These tests can further diagnose the injury.
Depending on the severity, the doctor may then recommend further imaging. Or, they may request the injured to see a physiotherapist or chiropractor after an auto accident. Usually, they prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants.
If the doctor diagnoses whiplash, it is important to follow their instructions. Doing so will ensure the best outcome for your recovery.
Why is Whiplash Injury Easy to Miss
Whiplash injury can be easy to miss for a variety of reasons. One of these is because the symptoms can begin to show several days after the injury has occurred. So, an individual may not realize that he got injured until the pain begins to set in.
Furthermore, some injuries can be minor and may not be as painful as other more serious ones. This makes it even easier to overlook and go unnoticed.
Also, the parts of the body affected by injuries don’t necessarily display signs of injury right away. Because of this, diagnosis is even more complex.
For these reasons, whiplash injuries can often go undiagnosed. If left untreated, they can cause further and even long-term discomfort or disability.
Top Symptoms of a Whiplash Injury
The most common symptom of a whiplash injury is neck pain or stiffness. You may notice immediate pain or soreness at the time of the injury. In some cases, it can take hours or days for the pain to reach its peak.
Other symptoms include headaches, pain in the shoulders and arms, dizziness, and fatigue. Blurred vision, irritability, concentration problems, and memory loss are also common.
Some people who experience whiplash suffer from tingling and/or numbness. This usually happens in the arms and hands.
In serious cases, people can have difficulty sleeping and swallowing. Some will even have a hard time with bowel control and experience loss of sensation in some areas of the body.
How are Whiplash Injuries Treated
The treatment for whiplash injuries is usually based on their severity. Mild ones can get treated through rest, icing the injured area, a neck collar, and pain medications. One common medication for this injury is ibuprofen.
More severe cases may need physical therapy. The therapist will use exercises to reduce pain, increase mobility, and promote flexibility. With this, they can prevent stiffness in the affected area.
Depending on the severity, the therapy sessions may include manual therapy techniques. Examples are massage, ultrasound, and stretching.
Also, your doctor may prescribe some medications to help reduce pain and inflammation. It is highly recommended that you make an appointment with a physician for a proper diagnosis before deciding on a treatment. This is so that you can determine the best possible option for your injury.
What to Do When You Suspect a Whiplash Injury
If you suspect that you suffered a whiplash injury, immediately seek medical attention. A doctor can diagnose the injury and provide you with the proper treatment to help you recover.
Be sure to explain the circumstances of the injury. This is especially important if you experienced any symptoms mentioned above. It is important to note any discomfort you may have right away.
Be proactive with your treatment and follow up with your physician. Do this as they monitor your recovery and make necessary adjustments if deemed necessary.
You may also want to consider seeking legal advice. A personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights.
There might also be a potential for a claim if the injury was because of someone else’s negligence. An attorney can provide you with valuable guidance and support throughout the process.
Who Do You Go To
The best person to go to for whiplash injuries after a car accident is a physician for a full evaluation. If needed, an orthopedic surgeon may get recommended for further care.
It is important to get appropriate, evidence-based medical care. This is to properly diagnose and treat the injury.
You may also consult a physical therapist. They can help guide your rehabilitation efforts safely and effectively.
If the injury is serious, you may need to contact a personal injury lawyer. They can help you get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and any other costs related to the accident.
Finally, you may also want to consult a counselor or psychiatrist. They can help manage the emotional and psychological effects of a car accident.
Knowing What is Whiplash Injury and Dealing With It
So what is whiplash injury? This condition can be daunting to deal with. But with proper care, you can make a full recovery.
With the right diagnosis and treatment plan, you can make a successful journey back to health. So, don’t wait! If you’re suffering from any symptoms, consult your physician today and start on the path to recovery!
Make sure to check out the rest of our blog for more information and answers to your questions!