Think you may be suffering from whiplash? Here our Fareham chiropractor explains some more about the condition.
What are the causes of whiplash?
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that is usually caused by the sudden movement of the head. This can be forwards, backwards or sideways.
It occurs when the soft tissues in the neck become stretched, damaged and sprained as a result. Whereas most cases of whiplash will get better within a few weeks or months, it can sometimes last longer and severely limit the patient’s normal day to day life.
The most common causes of whiplash include:
- road traffic accidents and collisions
- a sudden blow to the head such as during sports
- a slip or fall where the head is jolted backwards
- being struck on the head by a heavy or solid object
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
The most common symptoms of whiplash include:
- neck pain and tenderness in the area
- neck stiffness which may cause difficulty in moving your head
- muscle spasms in the neck
- pain in the shoulders and arms
Although not as common, whiplash can also result in symptoms such as pins and needles in the limbs, dizziness, tiredness, memory loss, poor concentration and irritability.
Following a neck injury, it can often take several hours for the symptoms of whiplash to develop. The symptoms are often worse the day after the injury, and can continue to get worse for several days.
When do you need to seek medical advice?
You should contact a healthcare professional if you’ve recently been involved in a road accident, or you’ve had any kind of a sudden impact to your head and neck.
A medical professional will ask how the injury happened and find out more about your symptoms. If you are in pain, they may also examine your neck for muscle spasms and tenderness, and assess the range of movement in your neck.
Although whiplash can produce a significant amount of pain and discomfort, scans and tests such as X-rays will usually only be carried out if your healthcare professional suspects a broken bone or other problem.
Don’t ignore your whiplash symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical to a speedy recovery.