Many people use automobiles for their daily traveling to work or other places, so accidents happen throughout the day, resulting in injuries of all types. The common car accident injury is whiplash that most of the time goes unnoticed.
Whiplash Injuries are often ignorable. The majority of people consider it as a non-serious injury due to it being dormant and not life-threatening. Let’s see what whiplash injury is and how it can affect one’s life?
Whiplash after a car accident is common. The injury can happen when a person sitting inside a motor vehicle in a stationary position faces a sudden jerk backward and forward due to getting hit by another car on the road.
More recent studies investigating high-speed crashes conclude that after the rear impact that’s different from the traditional motion––– the lower and upper cervical vertebrae of the victim may get so affected that he or she may go into the trauma.
Symptoms of Whiplash
- neck pain and stiffness,
- visual disturbances,
- jaw pain (temporomandibular joint symptoms),
- shoulder pain and stiffness,
- arm pain,
- arm weakness,
- ringing within the ears (tinnitus), and
- back pain.
In a more severe and chronic case of “whiplash associated disorder”, symptoms may include:
- drug dependency,
- post-traumatic stress syndrome,
- sleep disturbance (insomnia)
How to Treat Whiplash?
Treatment of whiplash depends on the variety of symptoms present in a patient.
The initial treatment includes a soft cervical collar that a patient must wear for up to two to three weeks. The collar’s goal is to scale back the normal range of motion of the neck and avoid further injuries. Unfortunately, many advanced whiplash treatments are in the pipeline and will come out once their effectiveness is proven.
Patients who gets early whiplash treatment (like in a day or two) recovers fast as compared to those who receive treatment after passing weeks of a crash. The early treatment typically involves rotational exercises which are usually performed 10 times per hour as soon as symptoms become visible. But you must perform these exercises under the doctor’s supervision and as per their advice.
What Do You Mean By Immobilization Of A Neck?
Immobilization indicates neck sprain/strain. In simple words, when you get whiplash, you might lose your range of motion resulting in severe pain and stiffness.
Moreover, immobilization also causes muscle atrophy and decreased blood flow to the injured tissues. In this condition, doctor’s advice physical therapies, medications, and use of a cervical collar––because together they help strengthen muscles and reduce your pain.
Development of Psychological Symptoms
If the patient begins to develop psychological symptoms such as anger, anxiety, or depression following a car accident injury, they must get prompt treatment.
Here we need to mention that the most important issue related to the management of whiplash is education. The doctors must educate the patient about their injury so that they take it seriously. This includes providing knowledge about the extent of injury they have sustained, potential treatments, and issues that can develop if the treatment plan gets ignored.
How to Prevent Whiplash
It’s not always possible to stop accidents; however, advances in automobile safety comparatively reduced the number of crashes each day.
The new designing of seat belts and head restraints reduces the danger of whiplash but cannot eliminate it. Many automobiles have additional safety equipment, including airbags and air-curtains to further protect drivers and passengers from injury.
Spinal manipulation involves chiropractic care. Yes, it’s true that chiropractic care generally begins with and places a significant emphasis on the implementation of spinal manipulation techniques. This suggests applying force or pressure to areas of the spine that require aligning to get rid of the pain.
The most common techniques are the flexion-distraction technique, instrument-assisted manipulation, and specific spinal manipulation.
Flexion-distraction may be a gentler technique that treats pain and herniation in discs which will, unfortunately, occur following a whiplash. Rather than applying quick and direct force to the affected area, the chiropractor will use slower and less intense pushing motions on the discs.
Other spinal manipulation techniques include the utilization of special instruments that can help to line areas that are experiencing pain or degeneration.
Manual Therapy for Soft Tissue Injuries
Sometimes soft tissue injuries treatment goes in the same way as spinal manipulation. Chiropractors go for manual therapy, and while doing so, injured muscles and ligaments get repaired over time and the range of motion restored.
Chiropractors will utilize instrument-assisted therapy, trigger point therapy, therapeutic massage, and various manual resistance and stretching techniques to improve the state of the soft tissue within the injured area. Instruments are often used to stimulate the soft tissue softly.
Trigger point therapy focuses on treating specific tension or pain areas–mostly rubbing trigger points, which gives a fantastic feeling when relieved.
What is the trigger point? A TP is the feeling like little marbles or tight knots just under your skin, which, when pressed, many people feel pain. Sometimes, it becomes so sensitive that the victim feels significant pain in affected areas.
Injecting a numbing agent into a trigger point can help relieve your pain. Besides, dry needling method (the act of inserting the needle) helps break up the muscle tension located in the trigger point.
Therapeutic Chiropractic Treatment to Reduce Inflammation
Additional therapies such as ultrasound therapy and interferential electrical stimulation will be useful for the treatment of neck and back injuries caused by whiplash.
Interferential electrical stimulation uses gentle and safe electricity that helps activates damaged muscles and also results in reduced inflammation. After all, your chiropractor will perform all the advanced techniques to reduce your pain that causes you discomfort.
Primary Care Doctors VS Chiropractor
Who to visit?
PCPs are a general physician who can treat normal health conditions. Whereas chiropractors are specialists in providing the chiropractor care services. If you’re looking for a routine checkup, visit general practitioners. And if you’ve got whiplash injury, go to the chiropractors as they are trained to diagnose spinal problems and will suggest the best solutions.
Auto accidents are worst because a person may end up getting multiple injuries. The other type of injuries you may sustain after a car accident includes:
- Muscle and Ligament Injuries
- Broken bones
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Spinal dislocation
Even minor pain is a symptom of something big. You never realize it could be a sign of whiplash or chronic issue, and if not treated on time there may be the need for surgery.
Before you select a chiropractor, do learn about their experience in treating whiplash injury. Once selected, be sure to inform them about your pain and symptoms because holding back details may only worsen your case.
Stay safe, and do share this article with loved ones.
Thank you for reading!