If you are like most people, driving a car is something you do daily without much thought. While you may not realize it, car accidents are extremely common. Over 3 million Americans are injured in car accidents each year.
The injuries from the accidents can range from mild to quite severe. One of the most common and painful ailments you may experience following a car accident is whiplash. Seeking out the help of medical professionals, and specifically, a chiropractor trained in the treatment of automobile injuries is essential when trying to adequately treat this condition. Read below to find out more information about whiplash and the methods used to treat it.
Signs You Have Whiplash
Typically, whiplash occurs as a result of a rear-end collision. When a person is hit from the rear, the natural curve of their back and neck will be altered. This sudden jerking motion can lead to significant damage and pain to these areas. One of the biggest misconceptions people have about whiplash is that it is detectable immediately.
In reality, it may take days before symptoms of this condition start to arise. Generally, you will notice a number of signs if you have whiplash like:
- Spasms in your neck or upper back
- Burning or tingling sensations
- Upper back pain
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Excruciating pain when trying to move your neck
As soon as you notice these warning signs, you need to seek out the help of a medical professional. They will sometimes start this diagnosis process by ordering x-rays of the affected area. These x-rays are taken to rule out the possibility of fractures.
Methods Used to Treat Whiplash
Once your doctor has diagnosed you with whiplash, they will discuss your treatment options. Generally, the severity of the whiplash will determine the treatment methods used. Treatment can include anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants, including fish oils and magnesium, as well as certain medications, as well as manual treatments including spinal manipulation, muscle work, mobilization, kinesiology taping, and sometimes modalities such as electrical stimulation. The medical professional will also sometimes advise you to use heat and ice to treat swelling and pain.
Visiting a chiropractor and allowing them to perform certain spinal manipulation techniques to your body can help with the pain caused by whiplash. Depending on the types of injuries, you may need to complete a round of physical therapy. This therapy is designed to restore your range of motion and promote healing.
Ways to Prevent Whiplash
Now that you know how whiplash occurs and what methods are used to treat it, you are probably wondering whether or not you can prevent this condition altogether. Doing things like wearing your seat belt in the proper manner is a step in the right direction.
Making sure your car’s headrest is not too low is also important. You also need to work on increasing your ability to observe what other drivers around you are doing. Making changes in your driving habits can also help to reduce the chances of rear-end collisions occurring.
Seeking Out Help From Medical Professionals is Crucial
The longer you wait to get treatment for your whiplash, the worse the condition will inevitably get. In New Jersey, it is extremely important to be evaluated for treatment within 10 days of the accident. The team at North Jersey Whole Health Center, LLC can help you overcome this condition. Contact us now for more information on the treatments we provide.