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Have you recently been in a car accident? If so, you may have sustained a whiplash injury that requires urgent attention. Whiplash and other medical conditions related to whiplash can lead to chronic neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches and other health problems. Even if you do not feel immediate pain after the accident, you may still benefit from visiting a chiropractor for injury diagnosis and treatment. Could you be suffering from a whiplash injury? Read on for answers to four of the most frequently asked questions about whiplash injuries and how chiropractic care can help.
#1: How common are neck injuries after a car accident?
A neck injury is one of the most common reasons why an individual would seek medical treatment following a car accident injury. You do not need to be in a major car crash to benefit from whiplash injury treatment. In fact, studies show that whiplash injuries can occur at speeds as slow as 5mph. While some neck pain may simply “go away” over time, for many other individuals, this pain becomes a persistent part of their lives. Chiropractic care is an effective treatment for addressing these symptoms and managing pain without the need for medication or surgery.
#2: How does a whiplash injury occur?
The force of a rear-impact accident can unexpectedly “whip” the neck backwards and forwards. This whipping action affects the cervical spine’s natural curvature, compressing nearby nerves and straining muscles. This can result in soreness, stiffness and decreased mobility. Compressed nerves may also trigger radiating pain sensations, headaches, dizziness and tingling in the arms. While car accidents are the most common cause for whiplash injuries, sports accidents and even sitting for extended periods may also cause symptoms similar to whiplash.
#3: How do I know if I have a whiplash injury?
Detecting whiplash injuries can be tricky, especially since some individuals may not have obvious symptoms for several days. Our chiropractor recommends a diagnostic exam to fully assess the extent of any musculoskeletal injuries after an accident. Watch out for these warning symptoms: headaches (typically at the base of the skull); pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms; worsening of pain with neck movement; reduced mobility in the neck; difficulty sleeping at night; difficulty concentrating on simple tasks; tenderness in the upper body. If you have any of these symptoms, contact our chiropractor for an immediate evaluation.
#4: Why should I have a chiropractic evaluation for whiplash?
After a car accident injury, you may have visited your medical doctor or an emergency room for urgent care. While these visits are important, the goal of this medical care is to address immediate injuries, like a broken arm, rather than musculoskeletal injuries like whiplash. You may also have received pain medication following the accident. While drugs are beneficial for temporary pain relief, they are not a permanent solution. Our Atlanta chiropractor is trained to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal injuries for long-term pain relief.