You may have encountered whiplash in your younger years, or you may have encountered whiplash just this week. Whenever whiplash happened to you, just know there are ways to resolve the issue. In this post, we’ll be discussing some of these methods and what to look out for if you think you’ve encountered whiplash after an accident.
What is Whiplash?
At its core, whiplash is the effect of traveling at higher speeds and then coming to a screeching halt via some type of accident. This startling halt causes your body to instantly tense up, especially within your neck muscles, as you brace for impact. While it’s good to have natural reflexes kick in at just the right time, the speed at which you were traveling may just be too much for your neck, back, and spine to handle. This “whipping” effect of having your neck and head thrown around can cause “whiplash”. While it primarily occurs via car accidents, whiplash can also occur from bungee jumping, rollercoasters, falls, and other high-impact activities.
Look Out for Common Whiplash Symptoms
Due to the adrenaline which is most likely rushing through your veins, ut’s unlikely you’ll notice the initial pain of whiplash when it first occurs. It’s not until many hours after, or even a full day or so, you’ll begin to feel the commonly associated aches and pains with whiplash. Be sure to look out for the following symptoms with whiplash:
•”Pins-and-needles” pain in neck and surrounding areas
•Reduced range of motion within your neck
How Does Whiplash occur?
As mentioned above, the mechanics of whiplash commonly consist of being hit by a car (typically rear-ended) and this in turn causes your car to absorb the impact and pass on the force to your car seat against your spine. This impact may in turn cause your spine to go from its natural C-shape to an abnormal S-shape due to the high rate of force being exerted on your car and yourself. This force may damage your discs, facet joints, and other important elements of the neck, back, and spine. From there, the head will fotne bounce off the headrest and accelerate forward. The seatbelt you’re wearing thankfully prevents you from encountering a worse injury. All of this occurs within a mere second of time, so it’s quite a lot for anyone’s body to handle.
How Long Does Whiplash Last For?
This will ultimately depend on the severity of the car crash. Some people will be very lucky and have their car absorb the majority of the impac with little to no pain. There are other individuals who have a car which did not properly absorb the impact and they may experience worse whiplash effects. The speed at which the car hits you, or the speed at which you’re traveling will strongly determine the severity of your whiplash condition. With this being said, most individuals will recover from whiplash after a period of about three months. In rarer cases, the whiplash symptoms may last for years. This often indicates there are more serious matters at play. Some factors which may cause your whiplash symptoms to last longer consist of the following:
•Severe pain immediately after the accident
When Whiplash is Serious & Requires Immediate Medical Attention
There are times when whiplash is mild and there are times where whiplash requires immediate medical attention. Here are a few of the instances where you should seek immediate medical attention:
•Pain, tingling, or numbness which makes its way into your shoulder, arm, and/or hand
•Problems balancing or having difficulty with general coordination
•Mental health issues such as: irritability, depression, reduced concentration, difficulty sleeping, and/or other noticeable changes in behavior
Choosing Neurosurgery & Spine Consultants for Relief from Whiplash
If you’ve been involved in an accident where you’ve experienced whiplash, you may want to reach out to us to learn more about how we can help. We have experienced physical therapists, board-certified neurosurgeons, and an amazingly advanced practice here in San Antonio, Texas. You don’t have to suffer anymore. We’ll be able to provide comprehensive care paired with advanced technologies to have you back to health as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
DISCLAIMER: No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.