Whiplash is an injury incurred in the neck when it moves back and forth rapidly due to sudden and forceful impact. The sudden forces cause your neck muscles and tendons to stretch, and some even tear. When the impact happens, you hear a sound similar to a whip cracking.
Most people confuse whiplash, also called neck strain, with neck sprains. But, there’s a difference. Neck strain results from injury to the muscles or tendons connecting the muscles to the bones. But, neck sprains result from the tearing of neck ligaments. Ligaments are the bands of tissue that connect one bone to another. Even so, the two are caused by the same incidences.
The most common causes of whiplash are getting rear-ended in a car accident, sports accidents, falls, physical abuse, and other sources of trauma.
The pain from whiplash is difficult to tough out. It may start immediately after the traumatic incident or some hours or days later. Several signs and symptoms can indicate whiplash. If you start feeling any of the following signs, make sure that you visit your doctor as soon as possible. The signs include:
· Neck pain.
· Neck stiffness.
· Reduced movement range in your neck.
· Pains getting worse as you try to move your neck.
· Pain or tenderness in the shoulder, arms, and upper back.
· Numbness in your arms and some tingling.
· Headaches stemming from the base of your skull.
· Blurred vision.
· Concentration difficulties.
· Issues with memory.
· Ears ringing.
· Sleep disturbances.
The length of your recovery depends on the seriousness of the whiplash. In most cases, the neck pain goes away in only a few days or weeks. But, it is important to remember that people heal at different rates. The pain should never last longer than three months.
It is difficult to predict how long you may have to wait before the whiplash heals completely. But, your healing may prolong if you experienced severe neck pain, restricted motion, and pain in your arms at the time of the accident.
There are also some risk factors that health care professionals relating to a delayed healing outcome. They include being advanced in age, having a history of whiplash, and if the injury happened when you were moving at high speed.
Treatment helps you to regain a comfortable range of motion. The chiropractor or physical therapist ensures that you can move your neck comfortably without pain to make your life easier. He or she sets you on therapy treatments that seek to rotate, stretch, and move your neck.
You would not need to wear a neck collar because that would immobilize your neck while the goal is to keep the muscles and joints moving.
For more questions on signs and symptoms of whiplash, see a chiropractor or physical therapist to commence treatment. Visit us, Brookdale Health, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. You can also call 763-561-4045 to request an appointment.