While whiplash typically comes from car accidents, any incident that causes a sudden jerking of the head can result in the condition. Other common causes include slips and falls, physical sports and assaults. Unfortunately, the potential dangers of whiplash go far beyond neck pain. This is why you should know how to immediately recognize the warning signs of whiplash.
Warning Signs of Whiplash
Tenderness and pain in the neck are common signs of whiplash, especially if the symptoms start after an auto accident or any other instance where something caused your head to suddenly snap back. As it turns out, there are a variety of other symptoms that may point toward a whiplash diagnosis as well:
- Arm and shoulder pain
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty moving your neck
- Neck stiffness
- Upper and lower back pain
Unfortunately, these symptoms can take hours before they’re even noticeable. They become more severe the day after, and symptoms may continue to worsen for several days.
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Whiplash
Even if a few Ibuprofen pills help relieve your neck pain and other symptoms, you should never ignore a potential whiplash injury. In addition to worsening pain, other symptoms could start to show up over time.
Although less common than the aforementioned symptoms, those with whiplash injuries can also experience loss of memory, fatigue, cognitive difficulties and dizziness.
Even more scary is the fact that whiplash can lead to depression. In fact, one study found that 58 percent of whiplash victims developed depression within a year of their accident. This study goes to show that whiplash is nothing to mess around with.
Treatment of Whiplash
You have a variety of treatment options for whiplash, but a medical professional should decide which one will be most effective. Putting ice on the affected areas is one way to reduce swelling and pain. Painkillers are also helpful, but take them only under the supervision of a doctor to learn the best kind for you and the proper dosage.
Your physician may also recommend using a neck brace temporarily. After a few days of icing the sore areas, utilizing heat can also be soothing. Finally, your physician may suggest other treatments such as specialized massage therapy.
A Final Word on Whiplash
Whiplash is a dynamic and complex condition, but with the right treatment and medical attention, the symptoms could go away relatively quickly. Chronic pain is also possible, but physicians can help minimize it.
If you’re near Pensacola, Florida and you have neck pain, back pain or other symptoms related to whiplash, contact us today at the Gulf Coast Pain Institute. Our trained professionals can help get your life back on track.