Why You Shouldn't Wait to Seek Treatment for Whiplash

If you have ever been rear-ended in a car, you know how sudden and shocking an event it can be. The sharp impact can do more than just surprise you and require a trip to the body shop, though. It can cause damage to your neck that can last for years if not properly treated.

This kind of whiplash injury can be quite painful, but you may not feel the effects immediately after the accident. Even if you feel okay, you shouldn’t wait to get your neck checked by a doctor. At Premier Spine and Pain Management, we can assess your neck, determine the extent of any injury, and lay out a treatment plan if you need one.

Here’s why you should get started right away with treatment.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is a neck injury that happens because of a quick, sharp, back-and-forth movement of the neck. It occurs mostly in car accidents, but can also happen in sports or as a result of physical abuse.

Immediately after the accident, you may not realize that you’ve been injured because the adrenaline coursing through your body can mask the symptoms. As the adrenaline wears off over the next few hours, you may begin to feel stiffness in your neck, along with pain when you move your neck - and even that movement may be limited.

You may also begin to have headaches, feel dizzy, and feel a tingling or numbness in your arms or neck. You can also experience blurred vision, fatigue, jaw pain, and difficulty sleeping.

Your neck is a highly sensitive area of your body, with vertebrae, discs, tendons, ligaments, and muscles that all work together to support and control your head. The strain of whiplash can cause serious damage to any or all of these elements. If you do not begin treatment right away, your recovery can be much worse. In some documented cases, people were still experiencing symptoms more than five years after their initial accident.

Whiplash treatment

Even if you feel fine after the accident, you should still see your doctor right away. They may run some diagnostic tests such as x-rays, CTs, or MRIs to determine the extent of any damage and check for any greater problems that may not be immediately apparent. 

Once they have an idea of your condition, your doctor can develop a plan of treatment right away. This may include physical therapy, chiropractic care, stretches, medication, and more. A good treatment plan should focus on relieving your immediate pain, while also focusing on a long-term strategy to ensure complete health and wellness.

The next time you are injured in an accident where there is a possibility of whiplash, the team at Premier Spine and Pain Management will be ready and willing to help. Just contact any of their six locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to find out how you can be on the road to a healthy neck as soon as possible.

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