The last thing running through our minds when leaving our houses is the risk of ending up in an accident. Set on the tasks at hand and trying to beat the twenty four hour countdown that is our day, we overlook simple decisions that can impact us severely. It is very easy to get distracted when driving, make poor decisions about speed and even experience faulty mechanics. Drivers, commuters and pedestrians are not immune to the chance happenings of accidents on the road and the injuries that stem from them are countless.
Neck strain, more commonly known as whiplash is usually prevalent in rear end collisions. When a stationary vehicle is hit from behind, the impact causes a sharp forward and backward movement of the neck. This tears and stretches the muscles and tendons, causing a strain. For those of us not well versed in the medical field, a neck strain and neck sprain can be easily confused. Although the treatments are similar, a neck sprain is where the ligaments are torn (the connective tissue between bones). Not easily discernible, qualified medical attention is necessary to make a proper diagnosis.
A few symptoms of whiplash are:
- Pain and soreness
- Inability to move affected area (the neck) freely
- A headache that is centralized at the base of the skull and radiates to the forehead
- Tinnitus (ringing of the ears)
- Shoulder, arm and jaw pain
Commonly thought to be associated with just the neck, whiplash can also cause tension in the upper back, muscles and spine. You may not feel the immediate effects of whiplash. It could sometimes occur hours or even days after and sometimes lead to a concussion. It is imperative that you seek medical attention after an accident and consult a personal injury lawyer to know your options.
The treatment of whiplash ranges according to severity. Below are a few remedies that are normally prescribed to treat the injury:
- Applying ice to the neck area to reduce any swelling and pain
- Painkillers as prescribed by a doctor
- The wearing of a neck brace/cervical collar
- Proper education about the injury and the common likelihood of a full recovery to aid in the emotional recovery
- Range of motion exercises (rotational exercises done roughly every hour)
A person who suffers from whiplash can also be psychologically affected. A slew of emotions like anger and depression can manifest themselves and this reaction is referred to as whiplash associated disorder. Immediate treatment can help the patient understand the high chances for a full recovery and thereby reduce the presence of any associated symptoms related to the disorder.
Whiplash is an injury that has good chances for a full recovery if diagnosed and treated promptly. If you have been in a collision of any kind, seek medical attention and call us at Rastin & Associates where our experience and compassion will help you get back on the road to recovery.