If you have been involved in an incident where your neck suffered from a very fast jerk, then you might be suffering from whiplash. Whiplash is one of the most commonly complicated issues in the whole world. Every single person in this world has at least once opted for whiplash injury treatment.
To understand its popularity, it is important that you understand the reason why whiplash is caused and what is done by the doctors to treat it.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is mostly connected with a car accident by many people and the thing that can only be caused in a car accident. Actually, the reality is a bit far from this concept. It is also known as wear and tear of soft tissues and tendons in your neck that causes you to have a reduced range of motion.
Structures in your neck that include nerves, ligaments, discs, and muscles are highly damaged because of whiplash and sometimes it prevents you from even making slight motions in the neck and the back.
It can be caused by:
- Automobile collisions
- Sports Injuries
- Physical abuse and hitting
- Amusement Park rides
Symptoms of whiplash
Even though you might not feel this at the moment the accident occurs that you have a whiplash because many of the symptoms start appearing 24 to 48 hours after the accident. Some of the most common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Severe neck pain
- Pain in the shoulders and arms
- Constant headache
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Reduced range of motion in the upper body
- Ringing in the ears
- Anxiety and mood swings
- Issues in memory
While these might be the initial symptoms of It but if not treated on time, these issues can grow and create a complicated health scenario for the victim. Therefore, it is important that you seek the services of a medical specialist immediately as soon as you meet an accident.
Confirmation of Whiplash
To confirm whether you have whiplash or not, your doctor will start a physical examination to determine the extent of injury in your current situation.
The first and foremost step in physical evaluation is going through a physical examination. Your doctor will use a few methods to check your current status and will start a treatment plan according to the situation.
X-ray, computed therapy, or CT scan, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging i.e. MRI are conducted to confirm whether the patient is suffering from whiplash or not. Sometimes the damage is really small that it goes undetected in the machines so people normally go with their symptoms to ensure that they are suffering from whiplash.
Duration of Whiplash
Normally, for a healthy person, the pain usually goes away within a few days probably one week. The maximum time for a whiplash to remain is three to four months. However, if not treated at the right time this can be a hassle.
According to research, around 30% of people with health conditions and improper health care have complained of persistent and continuous neck pain even after a year of the accident.
The most common reasons for the pain to occur continuously are:
- The pain has not been treated at the right time.
- Pain is developed immediately after the accident
- The accident has caused neurological issues along with whiplash
- The pain has started to grow and spreads to the other areas of the upper body i.e. the shoulders, arms, and even fingers.
The severity of the accident plays a major role in determining the extent of the risk that comes with its injury. Based on weight, height, age, and even gender, the results vary, and sometimes it can lead to acute neck pain which is recognized as a major chronic problem in the field of medicine.
Treatment for whiplash
Doctors concentrate on offering whiplash injury treatment that provides a long term effect and removes the traces of this injury from the body. The treatment plan comprises of some generic steps that are customized and altered according to every individual’s requirements.
Here are a few of the most commonly used treatment methods for whiplash.
· Medications and Relaxants
Anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants are prescribed when the treatment plan begins. This is to offer temporary relief from the pain. People who tend to avoid any form of pain killers are relaxants are often recommended to use a heating or ice pad to temporary tone down the intensity of pain. Even though the pain killers and medications can bring down the level of pain or not make you feel the pain at all, it is recommended that you continue the treatment until given a green signal by the specialist.
· Moderate Exercises
Exercises help individuals to redevelop the normal range of motion in the muscles that is reduced significantly during the whiplash. Physical therapy is started along with the medicinal treatment and to make you feel better, your trainer will concentrate on making you perform various types of stretching and rotating workouts that allow your neck to move.
Keeping your muscles and joints is good for whiplash instead of being static and only depending on medicines. However, make sure that you are not pushing yourself too hard as it can damage the muscles.
· Psychological treatment
When, for whatever cause, an individual has a psychiatric problem after a whiplash accident, such as anxiety or posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD, a mental health provider may offer counseling to help him or her navigate with, appreciates, and handle the problems. Medications can also be recommended.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
Those looking for more alternative treatments may turn to this increasingly popular option.
PRP is created by separating the components of a patient’s blood to create a serum rich in platelets and growth factors. When a technician reintroduces this to the body, it speeds up the recovery process by stimulating tissue repair and regeneration. It also quells the inflammation response, reducing pain and discomfort while maintaining a modicum of movement, allowing people with whiplash to recover much sooner.
As a treatment method, it is mainly used by athletes and people with debilitating injuries. The procedure is non-surgical, minimally invasive, customizable to fit a person’s unique needs, and relatively low in terms of risk of adverse reactions, such as allergies.
Furthermore, firms like Selphyl Ortho continue working on breakthroughs to improve this treatment’s outcomes and make it more accessible.
Before considering PRP therapy for whiplash or any other medical condition, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare provider who can assess your specific situation, discuss the potential benefits and risks, and help you make an informed treatment decision. Always weigh the pros and cons in consultation with your healthcare team to determine the most appropriate course of action for your individual needs.
No definitive consensus has yet been made on its uses, benefits, and risks. You may also have to deal with limited insurance coverage. Still, it is an option worth considering.
It is a common internal injury caused by an accident or any other way that involves your neck to be in a to and fro jerk motion. People who are suffering from whiplash need to seek treatment right after the accident as leaving it for a prolonged period of time can cause serious damage to the neck and upper body region.
The treatment plan varies from person to person and the patient might require physical and psychological treatment.