Whiplash Neck Pain

whiplash neck painWhiplash neck pain is usually caused by car accidents. During motor vehicle accidents, our body is secured into the seat but the head is thrown forward causing too much flexion of the neck. With this, the sudden forward motion goes beyond the normal range of neck movement causing the ligaments and muscles to overstretch.

How to Identify if it is Whiplash Neck Pain?

First, you need to identify the area of the pain. A common symptom of whiplash is neck stiffness and neck pain. The kind of pain felt differs, but the location of the pain is mostly in the area over the shoulders between the shoulder blades.

Other people can also experience on and off pain which can move toward the ears and can cause painful headaches. Some would also complain of tinnitus or ringing in the ears. Whiplash neck pain cannot be detected for several days after the accident happened, so it is essential for you to be aware of any changes in your neck area.

  • Know the symptoms

Except for the most obvious symptom which is neck pain, if you suffer from whiplash you may also experience blurred vision and dizziness. Other symptoms would include difficulty sleeping and memory problems. The symptoms that you feel depend on the intensity of the injury. There are cases that the injury can cause personality disorders like mood changes, fatigue, difficulty in concentrating and irritability.

  • Undergoing specific tests to identify whiplash

Before undergoing any specific medical examinations, your doctor will be asking you questions regarding your medical history, if you have been in any accidents and so on. These things are important to know if you really are experiencing whiplash. If you really have been in an accident then you will need to undergo certain diagnostic tests.

If your doctor suspects the presence of whiplash, he or she may order a series of test like X-rays or a CT scan to know if the spine or neck vertebrae have suffered any type of damage or injury, or whether you have a pinched nerve. Manual physical examinations are also very common and it can greatly help doctors establish whether the area is tender or sensitive to the touch.

Recommended treatments for whiplash neck pain

Recommended treatments for whiplash neck pain would include ice or cold therapy.  This therapy is usually recommended for the first 48 hours after the injury. It helps in reducing the inflammation and swelling of the neck muscles sustained from the accident. Heat therapy is used following the cold therapy. Heat therapy improves the circulation of blood to the injured area, supplying the necessary nutrients and oxygen needed for faster healing. Pharmacological treatment may be used if severe injuries have been sustained, and especially if the pain is already chronic.

Whiplash neck pain can be painful, and it may point toward something serious taking place when proper treatment is not done immediately. Like any other conditions, early treatment and prevention is the best intervention.

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