Commonly associated with car accidents, whiplash is an injury that you’ve likely heard about, whether you’ve experienced it yourself or you’ve seen it mentioned on TV. Whiplash occurs when a person’s head suddenly moves backward and then forward with great force. It’s generally not a life-threatening injury, but it can be pretty painful if not treated properly.
How Does Whiplash Occur?
Whiplash most commonly occurs during rear-end car accidents, and it can even happen at low speeds. The impact of the vehicle behind you striking the back of your car causes your head to violently snap back and then forward in the span of just a second or two. Whiplash, however, is a common result of many other types of impact that cause the same kind of violent head and neck motion:
- Collisions from contact sports
- Physical violence that includes shaking or a blow to the head
- A fall while bicycling or horseback riding
The injury itself occurs when the muscles in the neck are strained due to the violent movement, which causes the neck’s tendons and ligaments to stretch and tear.
What Are the Signs of Whiplash?
One of the tricky aspects of whiplash is that its symptoms don’t always appear right away–it can sometimes take several days to feel the pain caused by whiplash. When you do feel the symptoms, they’ll usually include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Headaches, especially at the base of the skull
- Blurred vision
- Constant fatigue
Any of these symptoms are signs that you need to seek medical support. The same is also important if you experience arm weakness or numbness. A common recommendation is to determine if it hurts to move your head. If yes, get medical attention immediately! Plus, if the whiplash was the result of an auto accident, you’ll want to have documentation and a diagnosis from a doctor to provide your lawyer. This is especially important when it comes to communications with insurance companies.
How Whiplash Can Be Treated
Many cases of whiplash can be treated with heat, ice, and over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen; in more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe muscle relaxers or stronger painkillers.
One treatment that many doctors suggest to whiplash victims is physical therapy.
Whether you need physical therapy for your case of whiplash may depend on the severity of the injury as well as your doctor’s recommendation. If PT is recommended, there are a few different ways it can help with whiplash.
- Exercise therapy designed to strengthen muscles, improve your posture, and restore normal movement.
- Massage therapy that can offer some relief from any neck pain you may be experiencing.
- Electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy, which can ease neck pain and potentially strengthen your neck muscles.
- Chiropractic care, which can sometimes relieve pain when coupled with physical therapy.
Physical Therapy Now offers all of these services to help you recover from whiplash and get back to your day-to-day routine without pain.
Whiplash Treatment & Physical Therapy in Irving, TX
If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury, get yourself checked out by a doctor, and then come see us at Physical Therapy Now. Our state-of-the-art facility is conveniently located in Irving, a short ride from just about anywhere in the Dallas Metroplex.
We’ll collaborate on a PT plan during your first visit that gets you feeling like yourself again. Call us today at (214) 225-0291.