Most of us are familiar with the term whiplash but do not know exactly what it means. When we see someone walking around with a neck brace, we tend to think “whiplash.”
We not only make a connection between a neck brace and whiplash, but we usually think of an automobile accident first.
However, although whiplash can be caused by automobile accidents, it is often the result of falls, work or sports injuries. Anything that results in the neck being moved suddenly in opposite directions can be classified as whiplash. It is through this violent motion that a sprain is brought to the facet joint ligaments. Facet joints line the spine and are covered by ligaments. The tendons and muscles are also strained. In addition, spinal discs can also be affected during this kind of injury. The resulting inflammation can cause intense pain.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Neck stiffness and pain is one of the most common symptoms of whiplash. This can cause more than a great deal of discomfort.
What Areas Are Affected By Whiplash?
The front and back of the neck are affected by a whiplash. This is because the head has been lifted up from the cervical spine. This makes it very uncomfortable to turn one’s head. You may sometimes hear people say this is the worst part of this type of injury.
Whiplash Symptoms and Pain
Pain is felt by some victims of whiplash in the arms and shoulders and can even extend to the upper back and chest areas. While musculoskeletal problems are certainly the most frequent and obvious, patients often complain of other discomforts after suffering a whiplash injury. These cover a wide range of complaints. Among these symptoms are difficulty swallowing, dizziness and nausea. Although not typical, blurred vision, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating have also been reported. The importance of staying active, within reason and caution, is emphasized during the treatment of this injury.
Ice and heat are used extensively for whiplash injuries. These will not only control pain, but will reduce muscle spasm that results from the injury. Dr. Overton will work with you and devise a long-term program that will see you through to your complete recovery. It is always a good idea to be under continuing medical care to ensure the best result possible.
Can You Prevent Whiplash?
Although whiplash is not completely preventable, there are precautions that everyone should take when driving, or as an automobile passenger. Seatbelts, complete with shoulder straps, are a great precaution. Also important is the proper adjustment of the head rest. Make sure it is properly aligned with the head. These are simple precautions but nonetheless very important.
Dr. Overton is a Chiropractor located in Columbus, Ga. Call us @ 706 607 0077 to schedule your appointment today!