Whiplash is an injury to the neck that results from a sudden movement that causes the neck to go back and forth. In many cases, whiplash heals in a few months with proper treatment. However, some individuals end up with ongoing neck pain. Those with whiplash should have their neck checked to ensure that there is no additional damage.
Whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly thrown back and forth, which can damage spinal bones, spinal discs, muscles, and nerves. Rear-end car accidents are among the top causes of whiplash, but this injury can also occur while playing contact sports or while being subjected to physical abuse.
Whiplash symptoms typically start to show up in about 24 hours after the injury occurs. These symptoms include neck soreness, neck stiffness, a limited range of motion, headaches, lightheadedness, soreness in the upper arms, upper back, or shoulders, and tingling in the arms. Other symptoms that can occur include blurry vision, sleep problems, tinnitus, depression, trouble remembering things, trouble focusing, and moodiness.
Whiplash treatment depends on how severe it is. Treatment for milder cases of whiplash involves over-the-counter pain medications, rest, ice packs, heating pads, and stretches. Other forms of treatment for whiplash include prescription pain medications, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, and cervical collars. Physical therapy helps those with whiplash improve their flexibility and strengthen their muscles to reduce the risk of injuring the neck again.
Chiropractic care includes spinal adjustments, which is a form of manipulation that realigns the spine. These adjustments are designed to relieve pressure on affected parts of the upper spine, which can help ease pain and other symptoms of whiplash. Chiropractic care also allows affected discs to heal properly with the help of nutrients and oxygen.
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