What is a whiplash injury? Whiplash is the name given to neck damage that occurs when the head abruptly jerks forward and then jerks back to its original position. Although it’s generally linked with auto accidents, any impact or strike that forces your head to push forward or backward can produce neck strain/whiplash. The sudden jerk pulls and injures the muscles and tendons in your head and neck.
When a person suffers from whiplash they may have:
• A decreased range of motion and stiffness in the neck and throat; muscles may feel tight or knotted.
• Pain when moving the head side to side or backwards and forward.
• Tenderness and pain in the neck and shoulders.
• Headaches at the base of the skull that spreads towards the front of the head.
In most cases, pain in the neck and head may last several hours over a period of months. Concussion can also accompany a whiplash injury. A patient should consult a chiropractic doctor as soon as possible if he/she is feeling any pain in the shoulders and neck after an auto accident.
Treatment for whiplash could be as simple as icing your neck to lessen pain and swelling. The patient should continue this treatment for half an hour, four or five times a day for 3-5 days following an auto accident. After the pain has lessened apply warm towels on the injured areas to help relax the muscles and increase the blood flow to these areas.
The most essential way to help avoid more serious problems to your body is to pay close attention to how you feel. If you experience any pain or distress while performing any range of motion, it is possible that there could be an injury that requires professional care. Stop the motion that increases the pain and do not attempt to proceed with any treatment on your own.