As we previously shared, whiplash is a cause of neck pain. For more details on this condition, what it is, and how to treat it, we thought we would delve into the subject a little more.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is an excessive extension and flexing of the neck. It is most often found in individuals who have experienced a rear impact automobile accident. The physics of the impact causes your body to receive the force of the crash once the cars are no longer in motion. Cars with safety features, good headrests, and an airbag can minimize the effect of this but nothing can stop it from happening all together during these accidents.
About half the patients who experience whiplash will also sustain injuries to the vertebra in the neck which can lead to longer term or chronic issues. However, some minor or acute cases can be treated with rest and care at home. Car accidents aren’t the only possible cause of this condition. It is not uncommon to see whiplash after sports related injuries or in individuals who have been assaulted or punched in the face or head.
Treatments for whiplash
Treatments can vary based on the cause and severity of the injury. A doctor may recommend that a patient seek treatment through physical therapy, chiropractic care, or acupuncture. These non-invasive therapies can restore mobility and relieve the pain and tension in the affected ligaments and muscles. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as over-the-counter pain relievers can be taken during recovery as well.
More complex injuries may require more intervention. Depending on the severity, a specialist may recommend nerve injections or blocks to provide long-term pain relief. Radiofrequency ablation is another treatment for patients to consider if the pain becomes chronic.
If you have been injured in a car accident and feel that your neck pain may be related to whiplash, you should consult your doctor to learn more.
Have you been in a car accident that caused whiplash?
Image by Thomas Anderson via Flickr