How many times have you been in a situation where your neck faces a severe to and fro motion all of a sudden? Well, we can confidently say that almost everyone on this planet has suffered from this kind of jerking motion at least once in their whole life.
People who have been in this situation have often reported that they don’t feel anything when the incident happens but instead, the symptoms start arriving a few hours later – or sometimes a few days later in certain cases.
This issue is called whiplash and it is one of the most common injuries that people face in an accident. Even the most minor accidents have the tendency to disrupt and damage the soft tissues in the neck that can lead to whiplash.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is just a descriptive word that clearly explains why and how this neck injury occurs: the head whips back-and-forth or side-to-side with an impact that allows the neck to sprain.
If the head and neck suffer from a movement like that, different bones in the neck like the vertebrae, muscles, ligaments, and nerves may be strained or otherwise harmed. This form of whiplash injury typically triggers acute pain accompanied by a stiff neck.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Some of the most common symptoms that will help you identify that the injury that you are suffering from is none other than whiplash are:
- A reduced range of motion in the muscles of the neck
- Constant soreness, stiffness and intense pain in the neck
- Numbness and tingling in body parts
- Constant fatigue and dizziness
- Sharp excruciating pain in the upper body
All these symptoms might start occurring one by one or they may become visible to you all of a sudden. It all depends on the severity of the injury and the age and health factors associated with the victim.
There are some other less common side effects correlated with whiplash, but their presence may be a reason for worry. Other less common signs can include mood swings, lack of concentration, blurry vision, muscle fatigue, and frustration.
The effects of whiplash accidents and their effect on the patient are a significant problem and need to be handled with the aid of professional practitioners. The expense of medical care will also, therefore, be compensated; applying for insurance reimbursement is, therefore, something that has to be done.
Risk Factors Associated With Whiplash
A car accident is not the only reason why many people require whiplash injury treatment. There are many other reasons because of which people may suffer from this injury. With time it can become quite serious.
Here are some of the reasons why people may experience whiplash injury:
- Babies of Age less than 5 months have their necks unstable and therefore are extremely vulnerable to whiplash if they are involved in an accident
- Driving or sitting in a car that collides with another vehicle regardless of the speed
- Participation in contact sports like football, basketball, rugby, etc
- Taking fast-paced amusement park rides especially roller coasters
- Getting in a fight with another individual.
When to seek medical attention immediately?
You need to get professional medical attention urgently if you have the physical conditions mentioned below:
- The pain that was initially in the neck has now transferred into arm and shoulder discomfort.
- Shifting the head from one direction to the other is unpleasant and painful.
- There is numbness in the head, and they are continuously trembling.
- You cannot sit in a comfortable place properly.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Whiplash
As described above, several individuals appear to ignore the effect of Whiplash injuries on their safety, but it’s better to see a specialist. Whether you want to see your usual doctor or an injury specialist (in which you notice the signs immediately after the incident), it is essential to get professional treatment immediately.
The specialist will conduct a specified list of tests to verify that the patient has been treated with appropriate care for successful therapy. Even if you feel that the pain isn’t ‘that much’ and it might be a waste of money, keep in mind that it has the tendency to transform into a chronic issue if not handled on time.
Because the damage is an internal one, the state of the victim cannot be assessed merely by conducting a manual physical test. The specialist must conduct a specified series of medical examinations to assess and calculate the extent of the injuries.
Although MRI scans might not be able to reveal anything, they are a helpful piece of technology when it comes to checking that the damage and effects are the effects of a whiplash accident.
Can the Risk of Whiplash be reduced?
While you cannot completely remove the possibility and risk of getting whiplash, there are certain methods that can at least help you maintain your safety and highly reduce the risk of whiplash.
Some of the most beneficial ways that always come in handy are:
- Always wear seatbelts while sitting in a vehicle.
- Take your time to properly buckle babies and toddlers to car seats that are appropriate for their age.
- Properly change the headrest and seat cushion of your car to minimize the rear-fastening motion that happens while your car is rear-fastened.
- If you experience a whiplash accident, you must receive immediate medical treatment. This will help you rule out some of the severe injuries such as fractured neck (cervical fracture) or brain damage. Babies and toddlers will also be tested for any possible case of whiplash.
Although whiplash seems to have been an insignificant accident to others, it may be very daunting. Having adequate medical care, which includes a few operations done by the specialist, is a road to complete rehabilitation and a way of avoiding long-term damages.
Although the care is very costly, it may be covered and accounted for by way of a lawsuit for property and health losses. It is advised to seek immediate whiplash injury treatment and medical attention as well as follow all the precautions mentioned by the doctor.
Interesting Related Article: “A Few Reasons Why You Need To Visit an Orthopedic Specialty Clinic“