You’re sitting in your car at the intersection, and suddenly you hear a crash as your body is thrust forward from the seat. But your head lags behind the rest of your body for a split second, then, it violently jerks backward before snapping forward atop your shoulders. You can hear and feel the tissue damaging itself. There’s a crunch in your neck. You’ve just suffered a whiplash injury; a painful, hyperextension of the neck.
What is whiplash?
When your neck undergoes whiplash trauma, the soft tissues of the tendons and ligaments become overstretched. In some cases, the tissues tear causing permanent instability and weakness. When the injury is permanent, whiplash is a condition of chronic pain and immobility.
Some symptoms of whiplash appear immediately after the accident, while others may take weeks to show. That’s why you need to seek attention quickly, not only to get proper treatment, but to document the injury for later insurance claims. Brampton Physiotherapy + Wellness Institute is ready to help you.
Symptoms of whiplash
Muscle spasms, headaches, and limited mobility are the typical symptoms of whiplash. In some cases the injury is severe enough that moving your head from a pillow may require assistance. While symptoms can abate within a few weeks of the trauma, chronic pain and immobility may be the result of a whiplash injury.
The most common whiplash symptoms include:
- Back pain
- Numbness in the hands and arms
- Lack of concentration
- Shoulder pain
- Pain in the high back between the shoulders
Treatment of whiplash
Timely treatment from a chiropractor or physiotherapist will aid your body’s healing mechanisms. If you can’t get immediate treatment, a cold compress on the affected area for thirty minutes, three times a day will relieve the soreness.
In the past, immobilization of the neck was the typical mode of treatment for whiplash, but recent trends indicate that gentle movement along with cold compress therapy and massage are beneficial to healing a whiplash injury. The gentle movement and the cold compress and massage work to manipulate the tissues into alignment, thus, assisting the healing process.
If the injury is chronic, your physiotherapist or chiropractor will work to alleviate symptoms and restore mobility. They will help you understand your injury better so you can live a fuller, more complete life while you deal with the injury.
Important steps after the accident
The trauma of a car accident can’t be underestimated, and injuries compound the situation. The care you get after the accident and the steps you take will affect you, your job, and your family. There are many steps along the way to getting back to health, and not all of them are rehabilitative.
It is important that you file a complete report of the accident with local law enforcement. And after this report is filed, it’s time to turn to your medical treatment and insurance. Getting your claim filed, and coordinating it with the police report will prove to be critical in dealing with later insurance claims. Remember, some whiplash symptoms take weeks to surface. Having documentation established near the time of the accident will help you deal with any issues.
The team at Brampton Physiotherapy + Wellness Institute is a group of highly trained experts who, are ready to help restore your health to pre accident levels. Give us a call as soon as possible and we will get you on the track to recovery.