How is Whiplash Diagnosed and Treated?
February 12th, 2018 by Synergy Admin
Whether you’ve experienced it personally or seen it in someone you know, virtually everyone is familiar with whiplash. An estimated 130,000 new cases of whiplash are diagnosed in the United States every year, or about 328 every day. As well-known as it is, however, many cases go undiagnosed and untreated. At the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, we help patients deal with all forms of injury. Understanding whiplash and how it is treated are the first steps towards getting the help you need.
Whiplash is usually the result of a sudden stop or change in momentum. While it is typically associated with minor car accidents, any impact or blow that causes the head to jerk forward or backward can cause whiplash symptoms. The abrupt jerking motion stretches and tears the muscles and tendons in the neck, causing a strain or sprain. Whiplash can affect patients of all ages, but especially those who play contact sports like football.
Whiplash can be difficult to diagnose, particularly since it may take 24 hours or more for the symptoms to start. Within the first few days after the injury, patients will usually start experiencing neck stiffness, headaches, pain between the shoulder blades, lower back pain, and/or pain and numbness in the arm or hand. More severe cases may also cause dizziness, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, irritability, and sleep disturbances. Because whiplash affects the soft tissues, advanced imaging tests may be needed to find the extent of the damage.
There are many different approaches to treating whiplash. While whiplash patients used to be placed in a neck collar, we now know that the key to rapid recovery is early movement instead of immobilization. Ice is typically recommended for the first 24 hours, followed by gentle, active movement under the guidance of a trained medical professional. Some doctors prescribe pain relief medications along with therapeutic treatments like gentle exercise, traction, massage, heat, ice, or injections. Each patient’s case is unique, so it’s important to find the combination of therapies that works best for you.
At the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, we have helped countless patients find relief from whiplash. When you come in for a consultation, our synergy trained chiropractors and massage therapists can work with you to find the ideal treatment approach for your injury. If you would like more information about the various services we offer or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today at (404) 352-8900. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and information about sports medicine and chiropractic care in Atlanta.