Symptoms of whiplash may not be apparent immediately after a traumatic experience. Often times, symptoms will appear within the first few days after the injury. Neck pain and muscle stiffness are the most common symptoms of whiplash. Pain or numbness into the arm or hand can also occur. Constant headaches at the base of the skull and into the temples may present with a dull, pounding sensation. Occasionally, disturbances in vision such as blurriness may occur. Dizziness, troubles with concentration or memory, sleep disturbances, and fatigue are also common symptoms of whiplash.
Whiplash occurs when the muscles in the neck are strained due to rapid movement backward and forward. This rapid movement causes muscles, tendons, and ligaments to stretch beyond physiologic range of motion, resulting in whiplash. Occasionally, the sudden impact will cause tearing of the muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Whiplash is most commonly as result of a motor vehicle accident; however, a number of activities including contact sports, falls in which the head is violently jerked, and cases of physical abuse may also cause whiplash.
After a traumatic injury resulting in whiplash, it is important to see a doctor immediately to undergo testing for possible concussion and neurologic dysfunction. If you were involved in a car accident, call 911 and get yourself and others out of danger from other traffic. After a visit to the doctor, make sure to put ice on your neck and mid back immediately to decrease inflammation and reduce muscle pain. Proper rest in the first 24 hours is very important, but prolonged bed rest may result in a delayed recovery. At Cotton Chiropractic, you will undergo a thorough examination including range of motion, neurologic, orthopedic, and muscle assessments after a whiplash injury. We get great results with whiplash related injuries and will help you through the process of dealing with your personal injury claim.