Automobile accidents occur each day, but avoiding them is not always possible. If you have been involved in an accident recently, you hopefully have received immediate medical care. Unfortunately, without this immediately medical attention, your minor injuries may become serious, painful conditions. Considering an estimated 1 million people suffer from whiplash each year, understanding the signs and dangers of this injury is essential. Using this guide on whiplash, you will have a better understanding of this neck sprain and learn how to treat the condition to prevent further damage and discomfort.
Excessive force and sudden motion during an accident will cause your neck to move back and forth in an abnormally fast manner. This motion places pressure on the neck, head, and back, causing ligaments to strain and weaken. You may feel fine immediately after your accident, since you may not feel pain until later. Even if you feel fine, seeing a doctor after your accident is key to preventing permanent damage to your ligaments.
Some people will experience whiplash discomfort after the accident, but your symptoms may not show up until a few days after the accident. Here are a few symptoms of this neck injury:
- Stiffness and Pain in the Neck and Shoulders
- Headaches Near the Back of the Head
- Blurred Vision
- Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)
- Memory Lapses
- Concentration Difficulties
These symptoms may be mild and require treatment from your doctor. However, if you feel intense pain in the neck, shoulders, and head or numbness and tingling in your neck or arms, visit your local emergency room for immediate care.
Before treatment for your whiplash can begin, your doctor will need to conduct a series of tests. X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans may all be necessary to determine the severity of your whiplash.
In most situations, your doctor will recommend rest to ensure the effective healing of your sprain. To limit movement of your neck, you will need to wear a neck brace. While uncomfortable, the brace will prevent the sprain from further damage.
For pain relief, prescription medications will be administered. These medications are effective in most cases, but prolonged use can cause dangerous addictions. Fortunately, you can reduce your pain in a safer manner using one or more of these holistic options:
- Warm Compress – Rest a heating pad around the back and sides of your neck. Allow it to remain in place for 20 or 30 minutes. The warm compress will ease the tension in your neck, head, and shoulders while relaxing your mind.
- Massage – Consult a professional massage therapist to ease the pain of your whiplash. Using firm massage to gently knead muscles on and around your neck, your massage therapist can decrease the physical and tension related to your injury.
- Chiropractic Care – A chiropractic adjustment can also reduce the pain associated with your neck sprain. During this treatment, the chiropractor uses their hands to manipulate the joint in your neck, realigning it with your neck and shoulders. You may feel intense pressure and hear light popping sounds while your chiropractor realigns your spine, neck, and head, but you should not experience any pain during the treatment.
- Light Exercise – Exercise increase the body's natural production of endorphins, which will improve your mood and relieve discomfort. Light stretches, yoga, walking, and swimming are all great options to consider for pain relief. Of course, consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program after an accident.
An automobile accident can cause serious damage, even if you do not experience pain immediately after. Using this guide and the help of your doctor, you will understand the importance of treating whiplash and the best options available to reduce pain.swfna.com