The term, Whiplash, refers to injuries sustained to the neck, especially caused due to any sudden impact on the neck like those originating from car accidents. Initially, Whiplash injuries were not regarded as serious medical conditions. But now it has been confirmed by the medical practitioners that Whiplash is a type of serious neck injury and should be treated accordingly.
In this respect, it is important for you to differentiate Whiplash from other neck injuries and thus, one should know the symptoms of Whiplash.
The common symptoms of whiplash are:
- Shoulder stiffness and severe neck pain
- Jaw pain
- Arm pain
- Visual disturbances
- Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
- Back pain
If not treated early and properly, Whiplash can become chronic. In the chronic state, symptoms that are visible are:
- Post-traumatic stress syndrome
- Social isolation
- Drug dependency
In most of the cases, Whiplash gets better on its own with time whereas in some cases a treatment is required. The symptoms mentioned above are reported to last for several weeks before healing. If a person suffers for more than six months then the condition is called a Chronic Whiplash state.
Here are the most popular ways to get relief from Whiplash:
- Contrary to popular belief, in order to get relief from Whiplash effectively, you need to keep your neck mobile and avoid braces or collars. You can do some light exercises to keep your neck in a flexible, moving condition. Though the pain might be excruciating at times but gradually with healing the condition will improve immensely. However, if you stop any sort of neck movements and try to give rest to your neck then you might delay the process of recovery.
- Over the counter medication like painkillers and anti-inflammatories can also be taken after consulting a doctor. If you intend to take Paracetamol, you should complete the entire dose of it and not just take the pills when the pain gets unbearable.
- Apart from the medication you can try alternate treatments like massages, electronic nerve stimulations, acupuncture or chiropractic care. The result varies from person to person and thus, the recovery time can vary from a few weeks to more than a year.
- In addition to the above, it will be better if the person with Whiplash gets some psychiatric counselling. As a result of the accident, the person may enter in shock and thus may need reassurance and support in getting back to his/her normal life. Such an initiative might hasten the recovery process.
Chronic Pain While Healing:
A lingering pain is often experienced after the tissues are healed. Depending on your age and the severity of the injury, the ligaments and muscles require 3 to 12 months to heal but the tissues take a longer time.
As established above, the treating and getting relief from Whiplash is a time taking affair. It will now happen in a day or a month but the pain and the injuries will definitely heal. Consulting a good doctor or chiropractor is necessary for full physical recovery.