Whiplash is a neck injury that results from a forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. Although it is usually associated with car accidents, any impact or blow that results to the jerking of the head forward or backward can cause whiplash or neck stain. Neck injuries require years of medical treatment and rehabilitation. For this reason, you need to know the symptoms of whiplash so you can have it checked right away.
Aside from a car accident, whiplash may also be derived from sports accidents, physical abuse, or other trauma. Common symptoms may include neck pain, stiffness, and headache. The pain associated with whiplash is hard to ignore. Some of the symptoms of whiplash include:
- Pain, decreased range of movement and tightness in the neck. Muscles may feel hard or knotted.
- Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull towards the forehead
- Pain when rocking your head from side to side
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
Some people may experience the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty in concentration
- Memory problems
The good news is that whiplash will heal on its own. However, to quicken your recovery, do the following:
- Apply ice on your neck to reduce pain and swelling as soon as possible after the injury. Do the procedure for 20 – 30 minutes every 3 – 4 hours for 2 – 3 days. Make sure to wrap the ice in a towel or cloth to avoid injuries on the skin.
- Take painkillers or other drugs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help alleviate pain and swelling. However, they may have side effects. Avoid using them unless your doctor says so.
- Apply moist heat on your neck. Do it only after 2 – 3 days of icing it first. Apply the heat only after the initial swelling has subsided. Use warm, wet towels or take a warm bath.