With nearly two million Americans affected by whiplash, it’s one of the most common auto injuries, but it’s not limited to car crashes. Whiplash is an injury that can occur any time your neck is jolted forward and back. This includes sports collisions, slips, or even slow-speed auto crashes.
Barry Hughes, DC and our team at Premier Chiropractic are experienced in diagnosing and treating whiplash so that you can get back to your normal routine. If you suspect that you have whiplash, we recommend that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.
If you were just diagnosed with whiplash, you might wonder if your discomfort will be permanent. In this article, we’ll explore why whiplash symptoms may be chronic and how treatment can help you get the relief you need.
Do you have whiplash?
Before you understand why whiplash can cause chronic pain, let’s first take a look at an explanation of whiplash. Whiplash occurs when your neck is strained. Not to be confused with a sprain, a strain refers to damage to the muscle or tendons.
Does whiplash cause permanent damage?
In some cases, whiplash can cause chronic issues. The severity of whiplash can range from mild to severe, but people with severe neck pain and limited neck mobility were more likely to have prolonged symptoms for a year (or more) after the initial injury. This accounts for as many as 50% of those diagnosed with whiplash, according to the experts at Cleveland Clinic.
Neck pain is one of the most common symptoms of whiplash, but it’s not the only symptom. Other symptoms include:
- Neck stiffness
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased irritability
- Increased feelings of anxiety
There are a few signs that your whiplash symptoms may become chronic. These signs include:
- Severe pain immediately after the injury
- Pain is accompanied by memory loss or other neurological symptoms
- You have pain that radiates from your neck down through your arm or hands
Sometimes whiplash symptoms can develop slowly over the days following the injury. Regardless, it’s important to seek medical assistance whether you have symptoms immediately or they are delayed-onset.
Why whiplash treatments
Without treatment, your symptoms may linger. Whiplash treatment may include:
- Physical therapy to improve your range of motion
- Stretching exercises
- Heat and cold therapy
Your specific whiplash treatment will vary depending on the severity of your symptoms and your overall health needs. No matter what your treatment plan looks like, the goal is to help improve the range of motion, improve flexibility, and reduce your symptoms.
If you are struggling with the effects of whiplash, give us a call. To schedule an appointment at our Pearland, Texas clinic, we’re available at 281-223-1172. You can also request an appointment online today.