About car accident whiplash. The word “whiplash” is actually a catch-all term which basically refers to numbers of symptoms that a person may experience after an accident or severely strenuous physical activities. It actually refers to neck and hyperextension injuries as well as cervical sprains. These symptoms are commonly associated with car accident.
However, this is misleading because the symptoms can also occur after the body is subjected to too much physical straining. Athletes often experience whiplash after sports accidents. Body builders would often complain of whiplash. Divers may also experience whiplash.
Car Accident Whiplash
Not surprisingly, the symptoms are commonly associated with car accident whiplash because not too many settlements and insurance claims arise from other causes of whiplash. In the United States alone, numerous motor vehicle accidents occur on a daily basis. Accidents may involve public transportations or private cars.
Car accident whiplash is not a rare occurrence considering the sheer numbers of vehicles on the roads daily. Even teenagers drive their own cars. You don’t even have to be involved in high-speed car collisions to experience whiplash. A sudden forceful jerk if you’re rear-ended can cause neck injuries or cervical sprains. In fact, even your seatbelts cannot totally protect you against whiplash.
First Aid Treatment
The minute you get home after a car accident, you should try to prevent the occurrence of whiplash. The symptoms of car accident whiplash do not occur instantaneously. They’d begin to show a day or two after the accident.
To prevent muscle soreness or strain, immediately apply an icepack on your neck especially at the back of your neck. Also, avoid straining your neck or your muscles for a while. Avoid doing strenuous activities for a day or two else these would aggravate the condition.
Diagnosing and Treatment
The first thing that you have to do if you have just been involved in a car accident is to check out for symptoms of whiplash. Often, car accident whiplash symptoms manifest as persistent severe headache localized at the back of the head, neck muscle aching or tenderness, head movement difficulty, piercing shoulder pain, burning back sensation and difficulty swallowing.
Neck pain or headaches are fairly common; but if other severe symptoms occur, you should immediately seek medical attention. These symptoms may be signs of serious problems.
Patients who show symptoms of car accident whiplash are often subjected to physical therapy. Fortunately for many people suffering from whiplash, the condition is completely treatable. Some people are advised to use soft neck collars or supportive cervical collars to help them recover fast.
Along with physical therapy, patients are also advised to go through heat therapy. Muscle relaxants and pain killers may also be advised if the patient needs medications.
Unfortunately, there are cases when whiplash results to even more serious medical conditions. A sudden force, if strong enough, could cause brain damage, disc slips and spinal cord injuries. When this happens, the patient may be advised to undergo surgical procedures to treat the problem.
This is why it is very important that you carefully monitor your symptoms after an accident. Strange symptoms that cause alarm should be brought to the attention of healthcare providers as soon as possible in order to avoid even more spinal or head damage to you or your loved one.