One of the things that many people don’t realize when they get into an accident is that whiplash does not manifest itself right away. In fact, whiplash can take days or weeks to become obvious to the person who’s been injured. This is especially true for people who don’t know what whiplash is, what the symptoms are and what to look for when they’ve been in an accident.
If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident or a slip-and-fall injury, you should be aware of whiplash, its symptoms and what can be done to treat the condition. Here’s what you need to know.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is a condition that occurs when the head is whipped forward and backward suddenly, often as the result of an unexpected event. People may get whiplash because of incidents like car accidents, slips and falls and sports injuries.
When whiplash occurs, the soft tissues in the neck develop small tears and become overextended. For this reason, whiplash is also known as neck strain. This causes pain and inflammation.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
The symptoms of whiplash are varied and often not obvious. They can differ from one person to the next. Pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders are a common and obvious manifestation of the condition, but many of the symptoms are less obvious.
Some of the less commonly known symptoms of whiplash include:
- Limited range of motion
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor memory
Patients who experience this problem may live with these issues for a long time without ever knowing that these symptoms are related.
Why are whiplash symptoms often delayed?
Just as a sore muscle becomes painful hours or even days after a workout occurs, whiplash can become painful hours or even days after an injury. This happens because the body takes time to swell in the area around the injury and to register the swelling that has occurred.
In addition, whiplash symptoms are not always recognized right away. Sometimes, people who are injured in car accidents take days or weeks to realize that they are experiencing a series of related problems. This means that symptoms might seem more delayed than they really are, because for a long time, the injured person fails to notice that they are experiencing a problem.
When should you see a chiropractor?
Anyone who is involved in a car accident or in an event wherein the neck is whipped forward and backward should see a chiropractor even if they aren’t experiencing symptoms. A chiropractor can identify and diagnose an injury when it occurs and can start a patient on treatment even before they realize that they’ve been injured. This is the best-case scenario for the patient.
Failure to treat whiplash right away can result in complications that can eventually lead to chronic pain and long-term injury. At the very least, patients who fail to get treated for whiplash soon after the injury occurs may be forced to live with their condition for much longer than necessary.
How do chiropractors treat whiplash?
Chiropractors treat whiplash with methods like stretches, exercises and spinal adjustment. These techniques are natural, non-invasive and involve no addictive pain medications. They’re safe for the patient and effective against musculoskeletal injuries and injuries involving the nervous system.
Chiropractors also help patients treat whiplash by recommending lifestyle changes that can encourage healing. In fact, chiropractors can continue to treat patients with these techniques long after the injury has healed. These techniques help improve patient quality of life even after the injury is gone.
At Berkower Pain & Spine Rehabilitation, we help patients manage their pain and recover from injuries like whiplash. To find out more or to get treatment for your recent injury, book your appointment online.