Car Accident? Injured Spine?
How to Treat Whiplash after a Car Accident
Whiplash injuries stemming from neck pain in an auto accident can lead to more serious injuries including: ruptured ligaments, hematomas, pinched nerves, and nerve damage, damaged blood vessels, fractures in the spine, and more serious injuries in the joints. An accident victim should seek out medical treatment immediately if they feel pain at the scene of the accident. If no pain is felt, one should still see their primary care physician or chiropractor just to make sure that there are no hidden injuries. Even minor bruising can lead to more serious injuries and a health professional would be able to determine the extent of the injuries and create a program in which to heal the body.
Both a medical professional and a chiropractor may suggest to immediately take and over-the-counter mild pain reliever such as aspirin or ibuprofen, to aid in lowering the immediate swelling and reduce the pressure of stiffness.
A physician may suggest getting an x-ray such as a MRI, CT scan or other specialized exams to determine where there may be injuries before they make a final diagnosis. Even a chiropractor may suggest that one should get those specialized exams so they can properly prescribe treatments.
The overall goal of treatment is to reduce pain, restore function, and strengthen the neck, shoulders and upper back muscles, so that proper healing occurs and the chances of chronic pain are minimized.
Once a diagnosis is made to determine the severity of the whiplash, a chiropractor then determines a course for treatment. Sometimes this only involves icing the inflamed area for 72 hours after the auto accident. In other occasions, the neck injury is more severe and requires adjustments and manipulation by the chiropractor. As stated earlier, always get plenty of rest and stay hydrated to stave off infection and to recuperate faster.
Injuries to the neck and whiplash are most commonly caused during a rear-end collision which results in trauma to the neck and upper back muscles. The trauma to the neck is a tight, stiff feeling that is sometimes hard to relieve. If not seeking out immediate medical attention, one should try to take an analgesic (aspirin) or ibuprofen. It is often a result from inflammation of muscles and ligaments that help support the neck and while you wait to see a medical professional, taking a mild pain reliever will at least lessen the pain until your neck can be looked at by a medical doctor or a chiropractor.
Whiplash injuries may cause other injuries in a car accident such as pinched nerves, lower back pain, shoulder and arm injury and other personal injuries. Headaches can become overbearing, so listening to your doctor, and implementing the prescribed treatment will only help you heal faster.