If you have been in a car accident, your body has gone through a lot of trauma. Even if you don't have a major car accident injury, there are plenty of other problems that you may have to deal with. Some of them are soft tissue injuries, which means they don't really show up on X-rays. One of those is whiplash.
You may have heard of whiplash, but what exactly is it? Well, it's an injury that occurs when your neck whips suddenly back and forth. Think of your neck as the end of a whip, and when the whip cracks, that would be what whiplash does to your neck. It is primarily a soft tissue injury. That means that while the injury surrounds your cervical spine, it's not the bones of your spine that are affected; it's the muscle and ligaments around your neck and spine. They can be stretched out, sprained, or even torn, depending on the force of the accident.
One of the problems with whiplash is that it doesn't always show up immediately after the accident. You might not realize that you have any issues until a few hours later. Part of the reason is that your body is going to be flooded with adrenaline after the accident, which can mask pain. Another reason is that muscle pain tends to get worse over time.
Signs and Symptoms
There are several signs that you may have whiplash. They include having a headache that starts at the base of your neck and then up the back of your head to your forehead. They can also include symptoms like having a hard time twisting your head from side to side or moving it back and forth. You may also feel like your neck isn't strong enough to hold up your head.
One recommended treatment for whiplash is time and a brace for your neck. However, that may not work for you. You may want to visit a chiropractor for help. They can use a series of special adjustments that will help to adjust your spine so that the muscles aren't out of whack. They can also use massage or other techniques to make sure that your neck heals the way that it should.
Whiplash is one of those injuries that happens all too often in car accidents. Knowing what it is and how to treat it can help you if you get hurt.