The Cure For Whiplash Injury

Symptoms and diagnosis for whiplash injury
Neuro

By Neurosurgery Singapore

What is consider as whiplash injury?

Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip.

Whiplash is commonly caused by rear-end car accidents. But whiplash can also result from sports accidents, physical abuse and other types of traumas, such as a fall. Whiplash may be called a neck sprain or strain, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries.

Whiplash results when the soft tissues (the muscles and ligaments) of your neck extend beyond their typical range of motion. Your symptoms might not appear for a while, so it’s important to pay attention to any physical changes for a few days following any accident.

Whiplash is thought of as a relatively mild condition, but it can cause long-term

What are some symptoms related to neck pain?

You might feel symptoms of whiplash immediately after the injury, or they can show up several days later. Common signs of whiplash include:

  • Pain.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Decreased range of motion.
  • Headache.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Fatigue.
  • Anxiety.
  • Memory disturbances.

“The most common symptom of whiplash is neck pain, which can range anywhere from mild to pins-and-needles tingling to excruciating. Other symptoms can include neck stiffness or reduced range of motion, neck instability, shoulder and/or upper back pain, or headache. There could also be tingling, weakness, or numbness that radiates into the shoulder and/or down the arm.”

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What types of treatments?

The treatment of whiplash injury depends entirely on the cause of the problem. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you understand the cause of your symptoms before embarking on a treatment program. If you are unsure of your diagnosis, or the severity of your condition, you should seek medical advice before beginning any treatment. The goals of whiplash treatment are to:

  • Control pain
  • Restore normal range of motion in your neck
  • Get you back to your normal activities

Your treatment plan will depend on the extent of your whiplash injury. Some people only need medication and home care. Others may need prescription medication, specialized pain treatment or physical therapy

Physical therapy

If you have ongoing whiplash pain or need assistance with range-of-motion exercises, our physical therapist will be able to assist you. Physical therapy can help you feel better and may prevent further injury. Our physical therapist will guide you through exercises to strengthen your muscles, improve posture and restore normal movement.

In some cases, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may be used. TENS applies a mild electric current to the skin. Limited research suggests this treatment may temporarily ease neck pain and improve muscle strength.

The number of physical therapy sessions needed will vary from person to person. Our physical therapist can also create a personalized exercise routine that you can do at home.

How long will pain resulting from whiplash last?

A vast majority of neck pain due to whiplash goes away within a few days, and even more within three months. But studies show that between 12% and 50% of people still have persistent neck pain after a year. You are more likely to have this lingering pain if:

  • You have severe pain from the beginning.
  • Pain develops right after the accident.
  • You have neurological symptoms such as memory loss.
  • Your pain shoots into your arm or fingers.

The more severe your pain is after the initial injury, and the higher your anxiety level, the more likely it is that your acute short-term neck pain will develop into a chronic problem.

Some people with whiplash do experience chronic pain or headaches for years following their accident. Our specialist may be able to trace this pain to damaged neck joints, disks, and ligaments. But chronic pain following a whiplash injury typically has no medical explanation.

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