Things You Should Know About Whiplash Pain

Things You Should Know About Whiplash Pain

Whiplash PainWhiplash pain is a term used to describe the soft tissue injuries of the neck that can occur when the neck moves in an abnormal way. First, unlike a broken bone or joint injury, this pain is often undetectable by an x-ray or another imaging device. One thing characteristic of the pain is that it can be pretty mild for a day or two and then become more severe.

The first observational study of whiplash injury to use a control group has shown that the intensity of whiplash pain is low, but its frequency is high, and compared to similar types of pain from an ankle injury, it lasts longer and produces more disability.Whiplash pain is generally accompanied by and related to other physical injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures that may occur in an accident.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a relatively common injury that occurs to a person’s neck following a sudden acceleration-deceleration force that causes unrestrained, rapid forward and backward movement of the head and neck, most commonly from motor vehicle accidents. The term “whiplash” was first used in 1928. The term “railway spine” was used to describe a similar condition that was common in persons involved in train accidents prior to 1928.

While most people involved in minor motor vehicle accidents recover quickly without any chronic symptoms, some continue to experience symptoms for years after the injury. This wide variation in symptoms after relatively minor injuries has led some to suggest that, in many cases, whiplash is not so much a real physiologic injury, but that symptoms are more created as a result of potential economic gain.  See more here.

Whiplash pain can begin immediately after an accident, or it can take several days (even months) for you to begin experiencing symptoms. And the most common cause of moderate to severe whiplash pain is due to a facet joint injury.

Symptoms of Whiplash

The primary symptom of whiplash is neck or upper back pain. The pain can start immediately or develop days, weeks, or sometimes even months later. Symptoms can vary widely among individuals. Some may only suffer minor discomfort while others experience one or more of the following:

  • Tightness or spasms of the muscles the neck or upper back
  • Pain with movement of the neck, headache and dizziness (symptoms of a concussion)
  • Difficulty swallowing and chewing and hoarseness (could indicate injury to the esophagus and larynx)
  • Abnormal sensations such as burning or tingling
  • Shoulder pain
  • Upper back pain

Severe whiplash can also include injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles and nerve of the neck or upper back. Read more here.

For most people, whiplash pain is confronting but with the correct information and treatment, it does not usually interfere with normal activities.

What’s the Treatment for Whiplash?

Here’s the good news: given time, whiplash should heal on its own. To help with recovery, you should:

  • Ice your neck to reduce pain and swelling as soon as you can after the injury. Do it for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days. Wrap the ice in a towel or cloth to prevent injury to the skin.
  • Take painkillers or other drugs, if recommended by your doctor. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen(Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve), will help with pain and swelling. However, these medicines can have side effects. Check with your doctor before taking them if you take other medicines or have any medical problems. If over the counter medications do not work, prescription painkillers and muscle relaxants may be necessary.
  • Use a neck brace or collar to add support, if your doctor recommends it. However, they are not recommended for long-term use, because they can actually weaken the muscles in your neck. Read full article here.

Whiplash Pain Can Occur In Many Ways.

The reasons for the whiplash pain are important to know for correct whiplash treatment to be effective. The pain can cause sleepless nights and loss of range of motion in joints and muscles. It can have a direct effect on emotional health and social interactions. This can be relieved by clinical massage to release the tightness in soft tissues, aiding healing. Whiplash is one of the nearly all prevalent sources of chronic neck pain; without appropriate therapy, this kind of pain will last for years.

Whiplash pain can be something that a person can live with a long time if it is not treated properly from the beginning.  Early treatment for whiplash is the best way to protect yourself against pain and stiffness.  The longer you wait to receive treatment the more likely it will be that you suffer from pain in the future. Chiropractic treatment for the pain is very effective this treatment includes chiropractic manipulations to weaken the muscles in your neck. and using therapies to reduce inflammation and pain. If you are experiencing this whiplash pain contact us here: (619) 831-8777 to gave you the right treatment for it.

Related Articles:
Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash Treatment

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Author: Allison Yardley

Allison has 6 years in practice as a Chiropractor's Assistant and is a licensed Massage Therapist who writes for numerous blogs online. Feel free to comment or ask questions regarding any of Alley's blog posts.