Whiplash: what is it?

Whiplash can happen to your neck when a large amount of force quickly moves your head backward and then forward. This typically happens after a car accident when the injured person’s car is rear-ended. However, this can also happen due to sports injuries, physical abuse, or even amusement park rides.

Luckily, whiplash is not life-threatening, however, the pain and lack of motion that occurs because of this injury can be debilitating. Most people that suffer from a whiplash injury do not suffer any chronic symptoms and recover quickly. On the other hand, there are a few people who suffer for years after their accident.

What are the symptoms?

Sufferers of a whiplash injury can typically feel the symptoms within the first 24 hours after an accident. The symptoms can sometimes develop after a few days since the accident.

Symptoms can commonly include:
Stiffness and pain in the neck
Headache at the skull base
Blurred vision

Not so common symptoms are:
Concentration and memory problems
Ringing ears
Trouble sleeping
Chronic pain in the shoulders, head, or neck

It is recommended that you immediately follow up with your doctor if these symptoms spread to your shoulders and arms, if you feel any numbness or weakness in the arms, or if it is painful to move your head.

How is whiplash diagnosed?

If you believe that there is a chance that you can have whiplash, the most important thing for you to do is to go see a doctor for a diagnosis. If your regular doctors’ office isn’t open and you are in a lot of pain, don’t wait and go to an urgent care center.

The doctor that you see will ask you questions regarding the injury, such as how it happened, the level of pain is it dull, sharp, or shooting, and where exactly you feel the pain. The doctor may also need to check the area for any tenderness and see your range of motion by doing a physical examination.

A doctor will examine you in or to determine any necessary treatments, you may have to wear a neck collar for additional support based on the doctors’ examination. To see if there has been any serious injury to your neck, the doctor may order an x-ray. Being able to determine that there are no major injuries to the head, neck, or other areas of the body is the first and most important step to finding any injuries that need further, immediate treatment. Whiplash injuries can include soft tissue, spinal, or nerve damage and those injuries cannot be seen on x-rays, in that case, your doctor may order an MRI or CT scan.

Whiplash treatments in Charlotte NC

The whiplash treatment goals in Charlotte NC are done to control the pain and restore range of motion. You may be prescribed pain relievers to help with mild or moderate pain, antidepressants to help with nerve pain, and muscle relaxants. Your doctor may also give you some neck stretches and physical therapy that you can do to help with your range of motion and recover faster. If you are suffering from whiplash, you can contact our offices and receive care you can count on.

ChiroCarolina®, one of Charlotte’s premier chiropractic clinics, is known throughout the Southeast for providing the best chiropractic care in the residential, NoDa, and college areas, conveniently located on North Tryon Street. Trust ChiroCarolina® in Charlotte: visited by patients throughout the south: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Virginia and Texas.