When people have been in a motor vehicle accident they want to know two things: 1. Do I have whiplash? and 2. How do I know? Mainly what people feel after getting into a car accident and getting whiplash is they can start to have headaches, stiffness in the neck, and also pain in the the back of the head. Patients often have a hard time sleeping and lifting their head off of the pillow due to muscle sprain/strain. Symptoms can come on immediately, or within a few days. Sometimes it may take six months for the person to actually have symptoms and pain. It is important because of this to immediately get an exam to prevent further/permanent damage.
Usually people report the day after the accident that they are experiencing symptoms. The reason for the delay is when one is in an accident adrenaline kicks in and overrides the pain. The body goes into fight or flight. This leaves the patient questioning whether or not they are injured. This is why it is so important to get an orthopedic and neurological exam to determine whether or not you have whiplash.
There are further studies, such as extension and flexion x-ray, to look for structual instabilities. This helps the doctor determine what treatment would be best for the patient. The orthopedic exam is very helpful to show decreased range of motion, disc problems, edema, and muscle spasms. Orthopedic tests are great tests to determine if the patient has sprain/strain. The neurological exam will show neurological signs and invovelment to help determine treatment and length of care. The neurological test can help to diagnose weather or not there was a head injury or concussion.
Things you can do right away if one has the symptoms of whiplash injury is icing. This will help with swelling and pain. You can ice the neck for up to twenty minutes every two to three hours. Magnesium is always good to help with muscle tension and spasm. Hope this helps!
For more individualized information regarding your health, please call Voitenko Wellness at (714) 730-2225 or contact us here to schedule an appointment!