Whiplash refers to a neck injury that occurs due to the swift and involuntary back-and-forth movement of the neck. The reason this injury is named "Whiplash" is because this back-and-forth movement is often likened to the movement of a whip. This neck injury is often very painful and can be difficult to treat. While Whiplash is most commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, it also occurs with other types of accidents, including slip-and-fall accidents and sports injuries.
Usually, the symptoms and signs of whiplash appear about one day after the injury. Some of the symptoms include neck stiffness, pain, loss of motion in the neck, fatigue, and dizziness. Whiplash has the potential to result in symptoms that afflict other parts of the body. For examples, headaches resulting from whiplash tend to start at the base of the skull. Patients may feel pain or tenderness in their arms, shoulders, and upper back. Some less common symptoms of whiplash include blurry vision, irritability, difficulty concentrating, depression, memory issues, and more.
Individuals usually recover from symptoms within a few months as long as they receive basic treatment. Some examples of treatment for whiplash include chiropractic care and neck braces. In the early stages of the injury, it is recommended that patients move their neck to speed up recovery. Painkillers like ibuprofen are taken to reduce the pain associated with whiplash. Treatment for whiplash is usually based on the symptoms of the individual and is decided on a case-by-case basis.
Many people don’t realize how severe whiplash can be following an auto accident. Because symptoms might not be present or not severe many people delay receiving medical treatment after an auto accident. Unfortunately, waiting for a proper diagnosis of an injury and subsequent treatment can increase the risk of developing long-term and more severe complications in the future. Seeing a chiropractor as soon you can after the initial accident will improve recovery time and lessen the chance of developing more aggressive problems down the line.
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