Whiplash 一 a common injury from both car accidents and sports collisions 一 is neck injury that results from a sudden back-and-forth jolt. Neck pain after an accident is often regarded as the tell-tale sign you have whiplash.
Because prompt treatment can help you avoid the complications of untreated long-term whiplash 一 dizziness, ear pain, chronic neck pain 一 Steven Levingston, DC and Brittany Anz, DC encourage you to seek treatment for whiplash at Premier Chiropractic if you suspect you have it.
Below, we highlight the top warning signs that your neck pain is actually whiplash.
You were recently injured
Whiplash is a common post-accident injury, but unfortunately, the symptoms don’t always pop up right away. This is because you experience a surge of adrenaline right after an accident. Adrenaline has pain-masking effects, so you might not realize the extent of your injuries until hours or days later. If you were recently injured and neck pain has crept up, you might consider scheduling an evaluation to confirm the source of your neck pain.
High-speed car accidents aren’t the only cause of whiplash. Anything that jolts your neck quickly back and forth can cause whiplash. This includes fender benders, sports collisions, amusement park rides, and even a trip and fall.
Your neck is stiff and sore
There are many reasons your neck might hurt, ranging from sleeping in an odd position to arthritis. You might suspect your neck pain is related to whiplash if your pain is:
- A constant and aching pain
- Worse when you move your head (both side-to-side and up-and-down movements)
- Accompanied by tense muscles
- Accompanied by muscle spasms
You may also notice a limited range of motion for your neck.
You have headaches
Headaches, neck pain, and whiplash go hand in hand. Whiplash can cause pain in the back of the head 一 where your head meets your neck 一 and can radiate to your temples, the top of your head, and down your neck. The pain may be intermittent or constant.
Your pain radiates to other parts of your body
Whiplash doesn’t just cause neck pain, but it can also cause pain in other parts of your body. The pain can radiate down to your shoulders and even your arms. If your nerves were affected, it could cause cervical radiculopathy. This can contribute to tingling, weakness, and/or numbness radiating down the shoulder and arm through your hands and fingers.
Treating whiplash in Pearland, Texas
The first step to feeling better is confirming if whiplash is the source of your symptoms. Our team reviews your symptoms and medical history, performs an exam, and analyzes any X-rays. The goals of chiropractic care for whiplash are threefold: reduce your pain (and other symptoms), increase your range of motion, and prevent your whiplash symptoms from becoming chronic. As many as 50% of people with whiplash experience symptoms 12 months after the initial injury. Early treatment can help you avoid these chronic symptoms.
Your treatment may last a few weeks (or more) depending on the severity of your symptoms and whiplash injury. The more severe your symptoms, the longer your treatment. This is especially true if you had any neurological symptoms, such as tingling in your hands. We want to strengthen and support your neck to prevent future agitation of your injury.
Without treatment, your symptoms may become chronic. And of course, if your neck pain isn’t related to whiplash, we can guide you with your next steps based on the source of your pain.
Don’t let your whiplash go untreated! Call our Pearland, Texas, office or use our online form to schedule your next appointment.