If you've recently been involved in a car accident, you could be suffering from whiplash. Knowing the signs of this condition and how to seek treatment can help car accident victims manage their pain and heal from their injuries. This FAQ is designed to help car accident victims know when they've been injured and what to do about it.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a condition that occurs when a sudden movement of the head causes the muscles and tendons in the neck to develop small tears. Whiplash usually occurs when the head whips forward or backward. This type of injury is a common occurrence during rear-end car collisions.
How Can You Tell if You Have Whiplash?
Many people find it difficult to identify when they have whiplash because this type of injury can take hours or days to present symptoms. Car accident victims can walk away from their crash thinking that they've avoided injury, only to realize that they were injured long after the accident is over.
Symptoms of whiplash can begin slowly. Often, the first symptoms people identify are pain and stiffness. This pain can come from rocking the head from side to side, or it may occur when turning to look back over the shoulder.
Other symptoms include inflammation, blurry vision, headache, nausea, difficulty concentrating, irritability, insomnia, depression, limited range of motion in the neck, numbness in the arms, memory problems, and ringing in the ears.
Should You See a Chiropractor for Whiplash?
It's important to see a chiropractor after an automobile accident, even if there seems to be no injury. A good chiropractor can identify whiplash before symptoms have begun to occur. Your chiropractor could begin treatment for whiplash to help minimize the symptoms and speed the healing process. Failure to see a chiropractor right away could lead to complications and chronic pain.
Does Whiplash Always Take Time to Show Symptoms?
No, sometimes the pain from whiplash is immediate. However, the symptoms may worsen over time if it is not treated properly by a medical professional.
How Long Does Whiplash Take to Heal?
Whiplash can usually be healed over the course of several weeks. For most people, whiplash is gone within three months. However, about 10 percent of car accident victims may experience ongoing neck pain after an accident occurs. The best way to prevent this from being a problem is to work with an experienced chiropractor who can help the body heal naturally and without invasive procedures.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Whiplash?
Although car accidents cannot be prevented, whiplash can. Whiplash is most likely to occur when there is inadequate neck support. Following these tips will help prevent this from happening. First, remember to keep the neck support even with the top of the head. Also, do not recline the seat more than 20 degrees. Finally, do not allow more than two inches of distance between the headrest and your head.
What Can Chiropractors Do to Treat Whiplash?
Chiropractors treat whiplash with a process called spinal adjustment. Spinal adjustment is a method of realigning the vertebrae to improve blood flow, speed healing, and improve flexibility. Spinal adjustment leaves patients feeling refreshed and tingly, even after one treatment.
When a patient comes to a chiropractor after being involved in a car accident, the chiropractor will first perform a diagnosis and devise a treatment plan for that patient. The number of times that the patient comes to see the chiropractor for whiplash treatment will depend on the severity of the injury.
If you've recently been injured in a car accident, then a chiropractor can help you get the diagnosis and treatment you need to make a recovery. At Preferred Family Chiropractic, we are happy to answer your questions about whiplash. To make an appointment or to find out more about whiplash treatment, contact us today.