On a daily basis, millions of Americans get behind the wheel of a car. With so many drivers on the road, it’s no wonder that accidents happen.
The most common types of injuries that result are soft tissue injuries, especially whiplash.
What is Whiplash?
Medically, whiplash is known as a cervical strain or sprain, or a hyperextension injury. It occurs when impact from a rear-end collision forces one’s head to move back and forth in a violent motion.
What Are the Symptoms?
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms usually occur within twenty-four hours of the injury (though it may take longer in some people) and may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Headaches that usually start at the skull’s base
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
- Tenderness or pain that occurs in the upper back, arms, and shoulders
At times, symptoms may also include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Concentration or memory problems
- Sleep issues
- Blurred vision
- Sleep disturbances
How is it Diagnosed?
Generally, soft tissue injuries to discs, ligaments, and muscles cannot be seen on regular x-rays. A doctor may order more specialized imaging tests such as a CAT scan in order to properly diagnose any damage that may be causing the whiplash symptoms.
What is the Treatment?
There isn’t a specific treatment for whiplash. But most patients find the use of over-the-counter pain medication along with ultrasound, massage, injections, or physical therapy helpful in reducing their symptoms.