When most people hear of whiplash, they immediately think of car accidents. However, car accidents are only a portion of the reason people suffer from whiplash. In Saratoga Springs we have to deal with icy sidewalks and driveways. A slip on the sidewalk can be just as dangerous as a car accident. With any whiplash injury the most important point is to seek treatment immediately, even if your pain is not severe. In most cases, symptoms get worse after 10-14 days.
Whiplash injuries can manifest themselves in a wide variety of way including, but not limited to: neck pain, headaches, fatigue, upper back pain, shoulder pain, and low back pain. Additionally, it is important to consider the numerous factors which play a role into the overall whiplash trauma, such as direction of impact, speed of the impact, the use of a seatbelt and whether or not air bags deployed if you are in a car. More factors not related to the trauma itself can impact symptoms. For example: gender, age and physical condition of the driver and passengers, can influence the severity of symptoms.
A number of conditions those who have suffered from whiplash trauma experience include:
Neck pain is the single most common concern reported by our patients who have experienced whiplash trama. Often the pain radiates across the shoulders, up into the head, and down between the shoulder blades. Whiplash injuries tend to affect all of the tissues in the neck, including the facet joints and discs between the vertebrae, as well as all of the muscles, ligaments and nerves.
Disc injury is also a common cause of neck pain, especially chronic pain. The outer wall of the disc can be torn during a whiplash trauma.
After neck pain, headaches are the second most common concern from those suffering from whiplash injury. While some headaches are actually the result of direct brain injury, most are related to injury of the muscles, ligaments and facet joints of the cervical spine, which refer pain to the head.
Treatment of whiplash can be very challenging. Symptoms can start to worsen when treatment begins as the body adjusts. This is very short lived and relief is usually found within a couple treatments. Treatment may also be longer than other treatments and more frequent. The ligaments that were damaged tend to heal a little slower than other tissues. Consistent care ensures proper healing and prevents the likelihood of flare ups in the future.