Whiplash and Ligament injury
What causes whiplash?
In a rear impact car accident, the neck vertebrae rub against each other, stressing the in-between discs and causing pinched nerves. The force of the sudden impact can whip your cervical spine beyond its normal motion range, affecting your spine’s natural curvature.
Misalignment of your natural spine curvature can cause intense pain in the neck, affecting your sleep routine and restricting your neck mobility.
Whiplash injuries can happen in any vehicle accident. Even when the accident does not significantly damage your vehicle, the sudden impact of the collision can cause you intense neck strain, resulting in whiplash symptoms.
Low impact accidents, like a fender bender, can considerably strain your musculoskeletal system and cervical spine, causing whiplash.
The symptoms of whiplash can occur immediately or within 24 hours of the accident. Some symptoms can surface in a month after a car accident and can linger for several months.
To assess damage to the soft tissues, diagnosis of whiplash can include the following tests:
- X-ray: They look into the images of the joints to get a better idea of the damage that occurred because of the impact.
- CT scan or computed tomography: Computer technology takes horizontal or axial images of the body in the form of slices. A CT scan shows images of your body in detail, including organs, bones, and muscle structure. It provides a more detailed picture than an x-ray.
- MRI or magnetic resonance imaging: Large magnets and computers provide detailed images of your internal body.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Here are some symptoms you can experience after getting whiplash from an accident:
- Neck and shoulder pain that often gets worse with movement
- Neck stiffness
- Limited motion in the neck
- Fatigue and dizziness
- Headaches, usually on the back of the head
- Vision problems
- Upper back pain
- Blurred and foggy thinking and confusion
- Pain and numbness in arms and shoulders
- Fatigue, irritability, sleeping problems
- Jaw pain and migraines
A whiplash injury, if not treated promptly, can cause long-term health issues. If your cervical spine stays misaligned, it can compress the surrounding nerves, causing pain along the length of the nerves.
A whiplash auto injury usually does not go away on its own. It can cause persistent pain and distress, causing headaches, numbness, and other health complications.
Initial Treatment Stage:
Immediately after the trauma, your chiropractor can require you to apply ice packs to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation. In addition, the following steps can be taken:
- Using a cervical collar to provide neck support.
- Applying gentle movements, including physical therapy.
- Prescribing anti-inflammatory medicines, like ibuprofen, to provide pain relief and reduce inflammation.
- Prescribing medications that relax muscles and reduce whiplash symptoms.
- Spinal Manipulation
- Flexion-distraction technique
- Manual Therapy
- Therapeutic massage
- Joint stretching and relaxation techniques
- Trigger point therapy
- Soft tissue therapy