A whiplash injury is one of the most common injuries in Spartanburg car accidents. It results from the sudden and forceful movement of the neck and head. Although whiplash is not fatal, the pain can be excruciating and lead to long-term health consequences.
As such, you’ll want to seek medical attention following an accident. If you have experienced whiplash, do not hesitate to contact Injury Medicine at 864-866-PAIN to schedule an appointment for the best whiplash injury treatment in Spartanburg, SC.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury that is sustained when the head is forced to suddenly move back and forth. The neck experiences extreme flexion in a whip-like motion and thus the name. This fast and hard jerking causes the neck to sustain a range of injuries including strains and sprains.
What Causes Whiplash?
The primary cause of whiplash is car accidents, particularly rear-end collisions. The impact of one car rear-ending another one causes quick and sudden forward and backward movement of the head, resulting in strain on the neck muscles.
However, whiplash can also be caused by physical trauma to the neck resulting from physical abuse or assault. Falls and contact sports accidents can also contribute to a whiplash injury. Any event or accident that causes the rapid back-and-forth movement of the head can lead to whiplash injuries.
What Are the Common Symptoms of a Whiplash injury?
To seek whiplash injury treatment as soon as possible, it is paramount you learn the common symptoms. Keep in mind that the symptoms are not always apparent after experiencing trauma to the neck and can even take weeks. As such, it is advisable to seek medical attention right after a car accident or trauma to the neck.
If you experience any of the following symptoms after trauma to the neck or head, get in touch with us as soon as possible.
Common whiplash symptoms include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Decreased range of motion of the neck
- Increased pain when you move your neck or head
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Dizziness or fainting
- Numbness or a tingling sensation in your arms
- Headache, usually at the base of the skull
- Buzzing or ringing in the ears
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty concentrating
Diagnosing a Whiplash Injury
Whiplash injuries are diagnosed symptomatically. This means that the above-mentioned symptoms along with an incident that caused trauma to the head or neck are used to diagnose whiplash. The practitioner will sometimes order a CT scan or MRI scan to identify damage to the neck soft tissue.
Diagnostic imaging tests can also be utilized to check for complications like damage to the vertebrae or discs. Individuals with severe neck pain, pain or numbness in the arms, or reduced neck movement may also be sent for an MRI or CT scan.
Individuals at risk of developing whiplash complications may also need these scans. These people include car accident victims, the elderly, and those who already have back, shoulder, or neck conditions.
What Are the Different Whiplash Treatments in Spartanburg?
Whiplash is often handled in a treatment plan that integrates an array of treatments and therapies. Treatments may include the following.
This entails resting and relaxing to reduce further strain on the neck and allow the injury to heal. It also involves the application of ice packs to the affected region to minimize inflammation.
This involves prescription medicine like antidepressants to reduce nerve pain and OTC medication like Tylenol or ibuprofen to alleviate pain and swelling. You can also get muscle relaxants and injections like Lidocaine to numb the affected region.
This type of treatment involves using injections of medicines to block the pain. We can use them for pain relief or complete loss of feeling if a surgical procedure is required.
We may also prescribe an array of exercises to gently stretch your muscles. This will help alleviate stiffness and restore the neck’s range of motion. Some exercises that we may recommend include:
- Gently tilting your head from one side to the other
- Gradually rotating your head from one direction to the other
- Rolling one shoulder followed by the other and finally both shoulders
- Lowering your head towards the chest and lifting it up
Keep in mind that exercises should not be done without consulting a doctor. Also, avoid any exercise that’s not recommended by a physiotherapist or doctor until you have fully recovered. The right exercises, however, are essential for recovery. If you don’t work out the neck, the muscles will remain stiff which only delays healing.
Your practitioner may prescribe a foam collar to wear around the neck, protecting it from further strain and injury. Recent studies have shown that soft collars can help alleviate pain, but also delay healing and recovery.
As such, these collars are prescribed for a few hours a day to help hold the neck still while sleeping instead of wearing them throughout for days or weeks. Your doctor will provide more information on how to use the foam collar.
Also referred to as RFA, radiofrequency ablation is the process of heating a section of a nerve responsible for pain transmission with a radiofrequency needle to make a heat lesion that blocks the pain signals.
Alternative Whiplash Injury Treatments at Injury Medicine
At the Injury Medicine Clinic in Spartanburg, SC, you will come across the following alternative treatments:
- Chiropractic Care – Our professionals utilize spine and joint manipulation in order to alleviate neck pain from whiplash.
- Massage Therapy – Gentle massage has been shown to be very useful in reducing stiffness and promoting healing and recovery from whiplash.
Keep in mind that the number of treatments required depends on the severity of the injury, the patient, and how fast they are able to recover.
Get the Best Whiplash Injury Treatment in Spartanburg!
We take an integrated approach to handling whiplash at Injury Medicine. Whiplash may not be fatal, but it can be life-altering if left unaddressed. If you have experienced trauma to your neck or head, give us a call at 864-866-PAIN for immediate assistance.
Our Spartanburg injury center has a multi-specialty team ready to help you.