Whiplash is a common injury sustained in crashes. It happens when the head jerks suddenly forward then backward or side to side. This causes overextension of the neck and strains the muscles and ligaments of the neck. In some cases, the muscles and ligaments can tear.
Auto accident specialist Robert Mitchell, MD, leads the team of medical professionals at Tulsa Accident Care Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We will work closely with you to diagnose your injury and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan.
When you have whiplash, it’s crucial to get a prompt and accurate diagnosis. The recovery journey varies from person to person and depends on a number of factors, including how severe the whiplash injury is.
Neck pain is the most common symptom of whiplash, and it can range from minor to agonizing. You may experience neck stiffness or restricted range of motion. If you've been in a car accident and suspect you've suffered whiplash, here are some symptoms to watch for:
Any of these symptoms could suggest a whiplash injury and should be evaluated by a medical practitioner as soon as possible.
Scheduling a visit with an auto accident specialist should be the top priority. In the meantime, there are some self-care steps you can take at home. It’s sensible to take it easy the first few days. If a certain motion or activity aggravates your neck pain, avoid or limit it until your neck has had more time to heal.
Applying ice to the neck in the first few days after a whiplash injury can help minimize discomfort and swelling. Ice or cold packs can temporarily shut tiny blood vessels and prevent swelling from worsening. After that, ice or heat can be given alternately for a few days after the accident.
Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications may also help minimize swelling and ease pain.
Most people who sustain a whiplash injury usually recover within three months. In some cases, whiplash symptoms can linger. If you have a considerable amount of pain, it may be a sign that a more serious injury has occurred.
Clinical testing can help aid in determining the severity of an injury, which is usually the main factor in determining how long recovery will take. Once you’ve been evaluated and have a formal diagnosis, you can get on the path to recovery.
And no matter the case, our team will provide guidance and support every step of the way.
Anyone who sustains an injury after a car accident is advised to seek medical attention. Even if the injury seems minor or you don’t have significant pain, it’s important to have a health care provider evaluate you.
This is because in the aftermath of an auto accident, adrenaline can mask injuries. Additionally, some injuries don’t present immediate symptoms.
Furthermore, seeking treatment for whiplash right away can reduce the risk for complications later.
If you’ve been in an auto accident and want care, the experts at Tulsa Accident Care Center can promptly evaluate you and get you on the path to recovery. To learn more, call 918-372-3694 or book an appointment online today.