One of the most common injuries you may sustain in a car accident is whiplash. This injury to your neck and spinal cord happens as the result of the rapid, harsh and uncontrolled movement of your head upon impact.
Even though it may not seem as serious as other physical injuries, leaving it untreated can cause chronic pain.
Indications of whiplash can manifest right away or they may develop over the course of a few days. According to The Mayo Clinic, symptoms of whiplash may include the following:
- Numbness in your arms
- Impaired mobility of your neck
- Persistent headaches
- Memory problems
Symptoms can worsen and impact your sleep, your concentration and your ability to communicate effectively. You may notice feelings of anxiety and even depression because of the chronic discomfort your experience.
Whiplash can sometimes create tears in your neck muscles. If ignored, this painful injury could cause vertigo, contribute to misalignment of your vertebrae and even increase your chances of developing degenerative disc disease. Often, treatment for whiplash is relatively simple. Your doctor may recommend that you temporarily wear a foam neck brace to stabilize your neck and reduce movements that could cause irritation during healing.
Your medical team may also prescribe medications including anti-inflammatories to help reduce swelling and manage pain. Chiropractic treatments and rehabilitative therapies may also help to restore your mobility. Knowing when you have whiplash and responding appropriately can reduce the risks of developing chronic conditions. With proactive treatment, you can facilitate healing and continue to live a comfortable life.