Whiplash is an injury that can happen to you at any point. It most commonly occurs from a car accident, but there are other accidents that can also cause it. Recent statistics show that there are more than two million people who suffer from whiplash in the United States each and every year. Suffering from whiplash is not only painful but it can interfere with your ability to go to work, drive, and go about your daily activities.
If you’ve recently been in an accident and suffered whiplash, the good news is that you don’t have to just wait for it to get better. Instead, there are steps you can take that will help you to recover faster and more fully.
What is Whiplash?
The first step you will need to take in the recovery process is to first get a diagnosis of the injury. Although common, whiplash is often under-diagnosed simply because people don’t realize that’s what they have. Whiplash is caused by a rear impact while you are in a stationary position. This sudden impact causes rapid forward and then the backward motion of your head and your neck.
Whiplash isn’t a life-threatening injury but it shouldn’t be taken lightly either. It can lead to a partial disability or short-term disability. Statistics show that the economic impact of whiplash, meaning the expenses related to it, cost about $30 billion dollars each year. Expenses include sick leave, disability, medical care, lost productivity, and in some cases litigation.
The Most Common Symptoms
Common symptoms that are related to whiplash include arm pain and/or weakness, fatigue, dizziness, shoulder stiffness and pain, headache, neck stiffness and pain, visual problems, jaw pains, back pain, and ringing in the ears. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, it’s best to get in and see your doctor.
There are a number of treatment options your doctor may prescribe for you. Typically, you will be told to get a lot of rest those first few days and apply ice and/or heat during this time. Pain relievers such as NSAIDs and acetaminophen can help to lessen the pain as well.
Additional treatment options include visiting a chiropractor, by searching echiropractor.org, that has experience treating whiplash. The treatment plan will depend on the severity of their injury and is meant to gently give the patient back their range of motion.
Physical therapy is another popular course of action and can be used in conjunction with chiropractic care.
Acupuncture has been shown to help people as well when it is performed by a licensed acupuncturist. Additional treatment plans include prescription pain medications, (although this doesn’t address the cause of the pain) injections, massage therapy, and radiofrequency neurotomy.
Easing the Pain and Discomfort is Possible
By speaking to your doctor and working on an individualized treatment plan you’ll be working towards not only healing but also getting rid of the pain associated with whiplash. Just remember that treatments can take some time before they are successful, so you need to be consistent and keep up with it.