Should You go to the ER If You Have Whiplash?

should I go to the ER for whiplash

Whiplash injuries result from car crashes, sports injuries, physical assault, or any motion that causes your neck to jerk back and forth. Although whiplash is commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, you might suffer from whiplash injuries, even from trauma to the neck. The jerking of the head and neck forward and backward results in loss of motion, pain, tingling, and chronic health problems.

How To Determine Whether You Have Whiplash?

Following a motor vehicle accident or any trauma to the neck, you might feel overwhelmed and disoriented. Unfortunately, the confusion can result in not noticing the symptoms of whiplash until days or weeks later. Unfortunately, the longer you leave whiplash untreated, the worsening continues to eventually make you visit the ER near me to assess the problem with your neck and head.

As most people tend to do, you might think you can get better from a crash in a few weeks. Unfortunately, you might have chronic neck problems or long-lasting consequences if you leave the condition without receiving proper medical attention.

Symptoms of Whiplash

You might experience the symptoms of whiplash within a few days of the injury. You might confront challenges like neck pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion in the neck, neck movement causing worsening pain, headaches starting at the base of your skull, tingling and numbness in the arms, dizziness, and fatigue.

Blurred vision, tinnitus, sleep disturbances, challenges concentrating, memory issues, and depression are also symptoms of whiplash affecting many people.

Complications of Whiplash

You might feel better in a few weeks after experiencing whiplash without experiencing the long-lasting effects of the injury. Unfortunately, you can also continue having pain for several months or years after incurring the damage.

Predicting how soon you might recover from whiplash is challenging. Generally, you might likely have chronic pain if your initial symptoms were intense, started instantly, and included severe neck pain, pain radiating your arms, and limited range of motion, especially if you didn’t receive treatment for whiplash from the emergency room in Waco, TX, soon after suffering the injury. In addition, some common risk factors are associated with worsening outcomes, including having whiplash earlier, low back or neck pain, a high-speed injury, and old age.

Diagnosing Whiplash

When you visit the Waco emergency room for immediate care for whiplash, the doctors at the facility will question you about the incident and your symptoms. The doctor may further ask you about the severity of the signs and how often they occur. The professional will also want to understand how well you can perform your everyday tasks.

The doctor will touch and move your head, neck, and arms during the examination. They will also request you to move and perform simple chores to check the scope of movement in your neck and shoulders, tenderness in the neck, shoulders, and back, the extent of motion causing pain or increasing the pain, and the strength and sensation in your limbs.

The medical might request e-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans to rule out other conditions worsening the neck pain.

Treatment For Whiplash

Whiplash treatment aims to control pain, restore range of motion in your neck, and return to everyday activities. The treatment plan depends on the extent of your whiplash injury. Some patients might require over-the-counter medications and at-home care. Others might need prescription medication and specialized pain treatment or physical therapy. In such cases, the doctor might recommend rest for a couple of days, heat or cold treatment applied on the neck for 15 minutes every three hours, over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications if you have severe pain, muscle relaxants, or injections.

A prescription of stretching and movement exercises performed at home can also help restore the range of motion in the neck to get you back to your normal activities. The practices might include rotating your neck in both directions, tilting your head from side to side, bending your neck forward, and rolling your shoulders.

You might receive a prescription to a physical therapist if you have ongoing whiplash pain and need assistance with range of motion exercises. Physical therapy helps you feel better and prevent further injury. The physical therapist will help you do the exercises to strengthen your muscles, improve posture and restore optimal movement.

How many physical therapy sessions you need vary between patients, and the physical therapist creates a customized exercise routine for you to perform at home.

When you suffer an injury to the neck, getting yourself assessed for whiplash by Express Emergency Room Waco helps you prevent unnecessary pain and complications associated with this condition. Therefore whenever you experience an injury to the neck or head rocking you back and forth, kindly visit this facility for immediate treatment to prevent unnecessary discomfort.


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