The pain of the neck is often referred to as whiplash. Any hit or strike that causes the head to move forward or backward will result in strains of the neck, which is usually caused by car accidents. The power unexpectedly stretches muscles and tendons in the neck and cuts them.
A lot of professional athletes and beginners suffer from Neck strain. People who play activities such as football are particularly likely to strain their necks.
Ultimate Difference between Strain and Sprain
Many people confuse these terms and since they sound alike, they consider them to be the same. This is one of the reasons why neck strains are confused with sprains.
Neck strains are caused by damage to the muscles or tendons that connect the muscles to the bone whereas, on the other hand, neck sprains are caused by tearing of ligaments and tissues that connect the bones with each other.
Despite the difference in definition, the symptoms of both injuries on the outside are usually the same. This means that the treatment plan would be nonetheless the same.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Doctors and specialists providing whiplash treatment in Tucker have specifically mentioned that the symptoms of whiplash might not appear in the first 24 hours for some people. This means that many people might neglect this problem just because it might not be experienced on the day of the accident.
To avoid a simple whiplash turning into a problem of a lifetime, keep an eye on your body and recognize whether you have a few of the following symptoms:
- neck pain
- neck stiffness
- headaches, especially at the base of the skull
- blurred vision
- constant tiredness
- problems with concentration and memory
- ringing in the ears
- inability to sleep well
- chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, or head
If any of the problems start coming up, it’s time to seek medical attention. However, many specialists offering whiplash treatment in Tuckeradvise their patients to seek medical attention immediately after an accident regardless of the symptoms.
When to visit the whiplash specialist?
You need to seek medical help immediately if you feel the following symptoms:
- The headache has now converted into an arm and shoulder ache as well.
- Moving the head from one direction to the other becomes painful and uneasy.
- There is numbness in the arms and they are constantly shivering.
- You are unable to sit properly at a sound posture.
Diagnosis of Whiplash
Many basic to moderate cases of whiplash can be temporarily treated with the help of OTC medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen and some simple remedies like cold compressions. This does not mean that if you don’t have severe pain you are not entitled to seek medical attention.
Your doctor will ask you a few questions that will relate to the injury. Some of the common questions asked by the doctor are:
- What is the intensity of pain and stiffness in the neck?
- Is the pain consistent or does it goes away after a while?
- When did the neck pain start?
- Is there any problem with moving the neck?
- Is there any numbness or tingling sensation in the arms, shoulders or legs?
- Are you sleeping properly?
- Is there any issue with the digestive system?
You must answer all these questions very honestly without hiding any kind of symptom that comes with the injury because no one would be able to identify the exact problem if you are not honest in explaining the condition.
After the doctor is done with the verbal evaluation of the state of your health he or she will make preparations to do a physical test just to test the range of motion, tenderness, swelling and how it has inflicted your overall health.
Your doctor will conduct an x-ray just to be certain that the pain is associated with the whiplash only and not ant other degenerative chronic diseases like arthritis.
Some other tests like a CT-Scan or an MRI will allow the doctor to evaluate any damage or inflammation in the soft tissues, spinal cord and most importantly the nerves. This can also help determine any case of brain injury.
Imaging study will help reveal whether the injury has affected the more serious areas like the brain.
The entire physical evaluation process will help the doctor to diagnose the intensity of the problem so he can, therefore, induce a sensible procedure to treat whiplash once and for all.
Complications with Whiplash
For many years after their injury, patients with whiplash might suffer chronic pain or concussions if they are not treated on time with quality medical procedures. Physicians may track this discomfort to the spine, discs, and ligaments that were hurt. Yet chronic pain after a whiplash typically doesn’t have any health reasons.
Very few people, however, have long-term whiplash complications. In general, recovery time is somewhere between a few days and a few weeks. Many people are fully healed within three months, according to the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Natural therapies can also be tried to treat the discomfort. Some include:
Chiropractic therapy relaxation which can alleviate these tension in the muscles of the back, electromagnetic stimulation of the nerve that includes a gentle electrical current that could help reduce the acupuncture of neck pain.
The doctor will probably prescribe you a series of exercises to stretch and move at home. These exercises can help improve the neck’s range of motion and get you back to work. Until exercising, it might be advised to add heat to the sore region or take a warm shower.
You might want to see a physiotherapist if you have persistent whiplash symptoms or need help with a variety of motion exercises. Physical therapy can help you to feel better and prevent additional harm. Your physical therapist will guide you with movements to help your muscles relax, strengthen the posture and restore normal movement.
Hence, it is extremely important that you seek medical attention after an accident regardless of the symptoms.