Getting into a car accident can be very serious and is never pleasant for those involved. Car accidents often involve having to get car repairs and in some cases treating bodily injuries. Some individuals claim to feel fine after accidents and refuse to get any medical treatment. Unfortunately some injuries may appear days after the accident, particularly whiplash. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in a car accident. It can be very serious, but is not life threatening and can be treated with proper care.
Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur as a result of rapid forward and backward motions that can take place during a car accident. The rapid motions can have an effect on your neck muscles and ligaments that cause pain and restrict normal range of motion. Whiplash can vary in severity.
Whiplash is most commonly diagnosed through a physical exam.
Some doctors may take x-rays to make sure that more serious issues are not present.
Whiplash symptoms can vary from person to person and often develop within 24 hours of an accident. Some symptoms may not be apparent until several days later. Whiplash symptoms include but are not limited to extreme fatigue, stiffness and pain in the neck, dizziness, blurring of vision and difficulty sleeping. In some cases, individuals may experience difficulty remembering things, irritability and a ringing sensation in the ears. In the event that you experience numbness or pain in the arms and/or shoulders, then you should contact your doctor immediately.
In more extreme cases, whiplash can cause chronic pain.
In the event of a whiplash diagnosis, there are several methods available for treatment.
Mild cases of whiplash can be treated with over-the-counter medications. More serious cases should be treated with stronger prescription medications. Your doctor may prescribe painkillers or muscle relaxers. Some medications are known to cause drowsiness, so be sure to consult with your doctor about the medications that are most suitable for you. Some doctors may also suggest numbing medications that are administered through injection.
Depending on the severity of your injury, some doctors may also suggest physical therapy. Methods of therapy may include applying moist heat, ice, or certain stretching exercises. In some cases, doctors may recommend a neck brace. Although these braces may help, they are not recommended for long term use as they may weaken neck muscles. Neck massages and ultra sounds are also recommended methods of treatment.