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Whiplash: Importance of Diagnosis and Treatment

The term “whiplash” first appeared in 1928. At the time, another commonly used term “railway spine” explained a similar condition when people are involved in unfortunate train accidents. Likewise, whiplash is a condition that occurs when an individual’s neck suddenly moves forward and then backward resulting in extreme strain. Whiplash commonly happens as a result of a car accident. Whiplash injury is referred to as the damage in bone structures and soft tissues whereas whiplash-associated disorders are a more critical chronic condition.

Many people involved in a minor car accident recover without experiencing any chronic symptoms. On the contrary, some people experience symptoms for even years. Considering the uncertain situation, whiplash is a serious condition and if not treated on time can lead to adverse health issues. You should consult a whiplash doctor even when you have little or no pain. Here are a few reasons to help you understand why seeking whiplash treatment is important.

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  • After the car accident, your body frequently releases adrenaline that covers the painful areas in an emergency. The hormone wears off with time consequently resulting in extreme pain.
  • On the first day of your injury, you may commonly experience swelling in the affected areas. This swelling is a defensive response. Though at the same time it exerts pressure on injuries resulting in more tenderness and stiffness.
  • Many whiplash injuries affect the delicate muscles and ligaments. If not treated on time, your everyday activities will further make them worse. You never know when a small or frequently overlooked injury becomes extremely painful and unbearable in the long run.

Considering these factors, we advise you consulting a doctor and seeking medical treatment should be your foremost priority. In case you are experiencing severe neck or back pain, you should first visit the emergency room to get the required treatment. On the other hand, if you are not feeling any pain, book an appointment at Marietta Chiropractic Clinic on the very next day. You are more likely to have pain or firmness that won’t immediately appear after the accident.

Curing the Whiplash

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The treatment for whiplash primarily depends on the type and intensity of the injury. Whiplash is the sudden forward and backward motion as mentioned above resulting in varied types of injuries – they may be referred to as whiplash-associated disorder (WAD). There are multiple tests involved in addition to simply X-ray. The doctor will thoroughly evaluate the pain you are experiencing to figure out the recommended treatment. Some of these include:

  • Physical and Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic treatments (spinal adjustments)
  • Physical workout commonly involving stretches and strengthening exercises
  • Wearing a neck brace- a soft cervical collar for neck pain relief
  • NSAIDs and pain medicine
  • Use of specific injections such as epidural to restrict pain impulses and let the tissue heal quickly

In addition to the treatment options mentioned above, there is much more to that following a sequence of medical tests and evaluations. Once the type and intensity of the injury is diagnosed, a specific treatment will be executed to help you get rid of the condition as soon as possible.

Whiplash Injuries and Official Diagnosis

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When it comes to whiplash injuries, there are many misconceptions you will commonly come across. Therefore, seeking and following the doctor’s advice is worth consideration. The first misconception is whiplash injuries only occur at low speed and as a result of low impact collisions. The second myth involves the side-effects and health concerns caused by whiplash. Though whiplash injuries frequently involve soft tissues that may take up to several days to reveal, they can result in critical symptoms and long-term pain. For instance, you may not seriously take nausea or headache, nevertheless, it can be an indication of concussion.

You may also want to acquire some self-treatments such as icing or painkillers. Though make sure to consult a doctor for examination and follow their recommendation whether it’s about medical tests or medication. Considering the expected and unexpected consequences of whiplash injuries, seeking medical care is important. As treating whiplash injuries can be expensive, a detailed doctor diagnosis and treatment will help you acquire the suitable compensation that you deserve.

Self-Care Whiplash Tips at Home

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Since every whiplash is different from another, it’s essential to follow the recommended instructions by your doctor. Generally, self-care for whiplash involves:

  • Application of ice within the 24 hours
  • Using pain killer or NSAID to relieve from pain or swelling
  • Wearing a neck collar or using a neck pillow when sleeping to keep the neck position in the most appropriate manner
  • Avoid performing any physical activities that involve exerting force on the affected areas

The recommendations we have listed above will help you heal the injury in the best possible way. Many doctors will keep on suggesting you, follow these instructions to heal the affected areas smoothly and gently. For example, if the doctor recommends you wear a neck brace, they will also let you know when and how frequently you should wear it. Follow the little details to prevent any pain. At the same time, they will suggest you certain stretches or strengthening exercises. These gentle exercises will help in healing soft tissue injuries whereas complete rest can prevent or slow down the healing process. Irrespective of the case, you should follow the doctor’s recommendations no matter what.

Conclusion:

Car accidents are unfortunate occurrences of life. These can be traumatic experiences requiring a great deal of time and effort to combat the situation. One common condition as a result of a car accident is whiplash. At times, it can be quite confusing to figure out whether you are suffering from any whiplash injuries. The condition tends to get better over time if you are following a treatment plan as recommended by the doctor. On the contrary, some people may suffer from chronic pain that is even more complicated and long-lasting. Make sure to get yourself checked and treated without wasting any precious time that may further worsen the condition.