Did you know that an estimated 22 percent of motor vehicle accidents are due to inclement weather? With a high potential for slippery roads over the next couple of months, the frequency of motor vehicle accidents is likely to increase. If you are involved in an accident, it’s essential to know the signs of cervical whiplash and when to seek medical attention.
What is cervical whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur when the neck moves back and forth in a rapid, forceful manner. It often happens during car accidents, but it can also take place from sports injuries and other types of trauma.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
Symptoms of whiplash typically develop within 24 hours following the accident and can include:
- Neck pain that worsens with movement
- Neck stiffness
- Inability to move the neck
- Pain or tenderness in the upper back, shoulders, or arms
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
Less common symptoms may include blurred vision, sleep disturbances, trouble concentrating, irritability, or ringing in the ears.
When should you see a doctor for whiplash?
Any time you have symptoms of whiplash following an accident or trauma, you should seek medical attention. It’s essential to get an accurate and prompt diagnosis and to rule out other serious problems, such as tissue damage or broken bones.
What is the treatment for whiplash?
If you are diagnosed with whiplash, your doctor will help you determine the best course of treatment for your condition. Your individual treatment plan will depend on how severe your injury is. The goals of treatment include pain management, the restoration of normal movement, and a return to your normal daily activities. Your doctor may recommend:
- Rest – for the first 24 hours
- Cold or hot compresses – either can help relieve discomfort
- Pain medications – over-the-counter painkillers can help reduce mild to moderate pain. Your physician may recommend prescription painkillers or muscle relaxants for more severe pain
- Injections – you may receive injections of numbing medications into painful areas or steroid injections to reduce inflammation that is causing pain
- Exercise – after the first day, gentle neck exercises can help you recover
- Physical therapy – ongoing pain or stiffness may respond to this treatment
- Foam collars – to hold the neck and head still and help the injured area rest
If you have been involved in a car accident or another type of physical trauma and you are experiencing symptoms of whiplash, be sure to contact Redefine Healthcare. We can provide an examination, accurate diagnosis, and personalized treatment plan to get you feeling better fast.