One of the most common injuries reported in rear-end car accidents is whiplash. It is estimated that around 3 million people in America sustain these injuries annually.
Chronic pain from whiplash affects around 1.5 million Americans and it is the cause of around 300,000 Americans becoming disabled. It can happen to anyone and most of the injuries happen at a crash speed of less than 12 mph. In fact, researchers have proven that crashes at a speed of around just 5 mph may also result in whiplash injuries.
It’s a serious injury and some sufferers have to linger in chronic pain for years. Needless to say, it has a huge impact on a patient’s quality of life. That’s why getting the right whiplash injury treatment in Greenville, SC is essential.
At Injury Medicine, our team of specialists has years of experience treating car accident injuries like whiplash.
What Is Whiplash?
While the medical community is still researching the exact cause and nature of this injury, it is believed that it involves the tendons, nerves, discs, and muscles in the neck.
Causes of Whiplash
In most cases, it is the result of a collision that results in sudden deceleration or acceleration. Most people suffer from whiplash injuries when they are involved in a rear-end vehicle collision.
Sometimes, it also happens when playing contact sports. It may also happen due to a slip and fall, gymnastics, or similar activities. Anything that leads to the unnatural and sudden forward and backward movement of the neck may result in a whiplash injury.
Whiplash injuries have varied symptoms as these may include damage to nerve roots, cervical muscles, ligaments, discs, and spinal joints.
While some of the symptoms may appear immediately following the accident, others may not appear for several days. Some of the common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck stiffness
- Shoulder or back pain
- Itching, burning, or tingling sensation in shoulders, neck, or arms
- Muscle injuries
- Ligament injuries
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Memory problems
- Blurred vision
The injuries may worsen without proper diagnosis and treatment. It’s important for you to get a proper diagnosis and address any problems you’re facing whenever you sustain a neck injury.
Do not ignore the symptoms as the injury is only going to get worse without proper whiplash injury treatment in Greenville.
Whiplash injuries are invisible and this is why diagnosis involves physical exams as well as complete medical history along with diagnostic imaging tests including x-rays. Here are the tests that are typically used for the diagnosis of whiplash injuries:
You have probably had an x-ray taken at some point in your life. In this diagnostic test, electromagnetic beams are projected onto the injured area and onto x-ray film, behind the injured area.
Since calcium in your body absorbs the electromagnetic energy, it projects an image of internal bones, organs, and tissues onto the film which can be used for injury diagnosis.
However, an x-ray test isn’t a comprehensive diagnostic tool as soft tissue injuries cannot be spotted using this method.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
MRIs are a commonly used diagnostic tool, which uses a combination of computers and huge magnets to make detailed images of soft tissue structures and organs in the body.
In this test, a combination of computers and x-rays is used to create detailed images of the injured part of the body. CT scans have the advantage over x-rays as they provide much greater detail for a more thorough diagnosis.
Treatment of Whiplash
Treatments for whiplash vary based on the injury and the patient. Every patient is unique and the extent of their injuries can differ greatly. We will create a customized treatment plan for you based on your medical history, overall health, and age.
Our treatment plan will also take into account the extent of your injuries, your personal preferences, and your tolerance for various procedures, medicines, or therapies.
The treatment may include:
- Application of ice during the first 24 hours of the injury
- Support for the neck through a cervical collar
- Gentle movement of the neck after the first 24 hours
- Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen
- Use of medicines for relaxing muscles
- Chiropractic manipulation
- Use of numbing medicatio
The application of ice for the first 24 hours after the injury helps in providing relief from pain and swelling. After the first 24 hours, heat may be applied to the injured area to loosen and relax tight muscles.
It’s not that difficult to recover from whiplash injuries provided proper treatment and care are given to the patient after diagnosis.
Rest isn’t recommended to recover from whiplash injuries. Normal activities should be gradually resumed to begin mobility and to strengthen muscles.
If complete rest is taken for an extended period, it might weaken already sore muscles and may prolong the pain due to injury.
In most cases, patients are able to make a complete recovery within three months but around a quarter of the patients may experience symptoms for up to a year.
Treatments We Can Provide
Here at Injury Medicine in Greenville, SC, we offer a range of treatment methods for whiplash injuries. Our experts begin by properly assessing your condition with a physical exam and if needed, through the use of the above-mentioned tests.
After the extent of injuries is diagnosed, we create a customized treatment plan to help you recover and relieve your pain. Here is a list of some of the treatment methods we use for effective recovery from whiplash injuries:
Chiropractic adjustments involve the manipulation of the spine to improve spinal alignment and reduce pain.
We will help you manage pain with prescription and over-the-counter medications. The first line of treatment usually involves NSAIDs such as ibuprofen. Prescription medications are typically used for providing relief from acute pain.
A nerve block is a method to provide relief from pain. It may be used solely or in combination with another anesthetic.
There is also the nonsurgical nerve block where medication is injected around a bundle of nerves which temporarily blocks the nerve from sending signals to the brain, thus providing relief from pain. This injection temporarily numbs that part of the body.
This treatment method makes use of radio waves. Radio waves are used to generate heat and prevent nerve signals from reaching your brain. It is not permanent but typically lasts longer than nerve blocks. This method usually provides relief for 9 to 24 months.
Spinal Cord Stimulator
In this method, a controlled electrical current is used for blocking the nerve signals from reaching your brain. These are specially designed implantable neural stimulation devices that help patients in managing neck pain and various other complex conditions.
Technology has been in existence since the 1960s. Many patients prefer spinal cord stimulators over the option of spine surgery.
If a whiplash injury results in compressing a sensitive nerve root, you may be recommended injections for pain relief. These injections may include epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, or medial branch blocks.
These injections combine a local anesthetic and a steroid. The aesthetic provides relief from pain whereas steroid helps in suppressing inflammation.
If the above-mentioned treatment methods don’t provide relief from chronic pain after a period of eight weeks and you still feel pain in your hands, shoulders, or arms, or experience numbness, our doctors may recommend orthopedic surgery. Various surgical options are available for patients based on their age and diagnosis.
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that is designed to provide relief from pain arising from vertebral compression fractures. In this procedure, quick-drying bone cement is injected into the bone fracture which helps in restoring its function and strength.
Call About Whiplash Injury Treatment in Greenville Today!
If you have been in a motor vehicle accident and are experiencing physical symptoms, you should immediately see a doctor for a diagnosis. Whiplash injuries are invisible but can result in severe pain when left untreated.
If you are experiencing severe pain, neck instability, weakness, numbness, problem in maintaining coordination, memory issues, shoulder pain, arm pain, tingling, or other health issues after an accident, you should immediately call the experts at Injury Medicine.
Here at Injury Medicine, we offer a range of treatment options to help you recover from your injuries and regain your quality of life. Give us a call today at 864-866-PAIN to schedule an appointment with one of our whiplash injury experts.