Whiplash Symptoms

symptoms can and often manifest as an injury that happens to a person’s neck after an abrupt force of acceleration and deceleration that occurs in incidents such as car accidents. This is one of the many possible neck pain causes that can happen.

Most people who have been in a motor vehicle accident can make healing progress rapidly without the presence of chronic whiplash symptoms. However, there are still others who may feel the symptoms for years.

   Acute and Chronic Whiplash Symptoms

Whiplash is categorized into two categories- acute whiplash and chronic whiplash. Acute whiplash happens when there is an abrupt hyper-extension, hyper-flexion or  rotation of the neck that causes you to experience neck pain and stiff neck. Chronic whiplash occurs when the symptoms continue for so long, approximately for six months and more after an acute whiplash.

What Causes Whiplash?

The most common cause of whiplash is probably car accidents. Especially in those involving rear-end collisions. The impact when two vehicles crash creates a force that causes the neck and head to hyperextend, or bends forward, as the torso is pushed forward. After this, the head and neck then falls backward, placing it in a hyper-flexed position. 

Whiplash symptoms include: tenderness on the back of the neck, inflammation of the neck, headaches, restricted movement in the neck, neck pain and stiff neck.

Diagnosing Whiplash Symptoms

After an accident, the person may taken to the hospital for further examination. The health care provider will then assess if there are injuries needed to be treated. X-rays of the neck are obtained to give a clear picture for any serious injuries.

If the x-ray is normal but the person still experiences whiplash symptoms such as neck pain, a doctor will order a cervical collar to be worn to relief the strain on the neck. After a few weeks of using the cervical collar, the doctor may perform additional tests, x-rays or an MRI scan. The MRI scan can detect injuries to the tissues which cannot be detected by x-rays.

Treatment of Whiplash Symptoms

The first treatment for a whiplash is the use of a cervical collar. The collar reduces the movements of the neck, thus preventing further injuries.

But there are studies shown that immobilization will slow down the healing of the neck. Patients who undergo early exercises may rapidly improve and soon alleviate the symptoms. These kind of exercises are usually done for about 10 times in an hour.

One of the most common of whiplash symptoms is stiff neck or neck pain which can be extremely uncomfortable. However, there are stiff neck remedies that could help ease the pain. Typically, the first pain medication ordered are over-the-counter drugs. 

Another common treatment ordered is temperature therapy. Temperature therapy is done by placing hot and cold compresses alternately on the neck. The heat will reduce the inflammation of the muscles and the cold compress keeps the muscles relaxed.

Another effective treatment is by performing a neck self-massage by rubbing your hands together to keep it warm then place it on the back of your neck. Do this procedure several times day to help your whiplash symptoms.