Atlanta is a cultural hub and rich in historical landscapes too. Compared to other states, the car accidents rate is much higher, causing whiplash and other severe injuries.
Whiplash is a neck injury or sprain, termed as cervical acceleration/deceleration (CAD) trauma. Your head, abruptly moving forwards and immediately backward, or vice-versa causes this whiplash. It is not necessarily a mere to-and-fro action, but any quick, violent motion that gives a jolt to your cervical spine and disturbs its alignment is known as whiplash. A severe whiplash injury can also have a long-term impact, negatively affecting your health and lifestyle. Just visualizing the forceful rapid movement can give you a precise idea of how whiplash is traumatizing. It ruptures the tendons, nerves, muscles, and other vertebral components of the neck.
Moreover, car accidents are among the leading causes of whiplash, with approximately three million individuals suffering from it each year.
Which muscles get affected more frequently in a whiplash?
Atlanta accident doctors have proven that the muscles in the neck are most prone to many whiplash injuries. A few people can get more seriously injured in the incident versus others. Luckily, because chiropractors possess an excellent comprehension of the musculoskeletal system, they can analyze your neck and locate any damaged tissue via the unique procedures provided. Any whiplash doctor in Atlanta will offer an effective treatment strategy for alleviating inflammation and discomfort you feel in the neck while also minimizing its indications. Other muscles that often get affected by a whiplash may be the shoulder and back muscles, usually resulting in a stiff lower spine. In this case, based on the intensity of the accident, you may experience discomfort between the scapulae or the shoulder muscles.
How do you know if you are suffering from whiplash?
Whiplash is an often overlooked injurious consequence. It may occur in various ways, including being rear-ended during driving or falling off of your bike. You could find it challenging to know what to do after a frightening incident such as an automobile accident. Whiplash-associated disorder or WAD is a term used by health experts to describe the wide range of possible whiplash symptoms. If not adequately addressed, it might become a protracted concern.
You experience an adrenaline rush when your brain responds to the circumstance as a consequence of the accident. It could perhaps be stressful and take your attention away from whatever discomfort you feel at that time. For this reason, it may take you a while to notice and diagnose minor injuries. Regardless of how critical or mild the impact is, it is better to consult with the assistance of a whiplash doctor instantly within 72 hours of the initial accident. Symptoms or no symptoms, you must seek medical attention right away as these might arise at once or a few days afterward. As mentioned, these indications can vary from mild to severe. Nevertheless, the following are some of the most prevalent signs and symptoms:
- Pain and stiffness in the neck
- Discomfort in the shoulders
- Sharp pain and stiffness in the lower back
- Numbness in the arm or hand
- Muscle spasms
Since discomfort alters the way you interpreter or process information and sentiments, in exceptional cases, whiplash injuries can sometimes impair how your brain behaves, leading to neurological disorders. You may experience the following symptoms:
- Loss of memory
- Having trouble falling asleep at night (insomnia)
- Problem in concentrating
- Anxiety and mood changes occur suddenly.
The diagnosis for whiplash due to a car accident may get divided into a physical examination and imaging tests. Your doctor will need to inspect by moving your head, neck, and arms during the analysis. The physician might further ask you to perform easy movements so that they can evaluate various indications such as:
- You should be able to move your neck and shoulders freely. It will indicate the range of motion and to what extent you can perform the command.
- The level of mobility that creates discomfort or causes the pain to grow
- Sensitivity in the neck, shoulders, or spine is a sign that something is wrong.
- To test the reflexes, strength, and sensitivity of your arms and legs.
Even though the qualified Atlanta accident doctors may easily recognize a whiplash injury simply by a physical examination only, they will most certainly need one or more imaging tests for specified details. Usually to check for any underlying issues that might be exacerbating your neck pain. The following tests may include:
- MRI scan
If the tissues within the body get damaged as an outcome of whiplash, MRI imaging techniques offer comprehensive 3D scans of organs and soft tissue components present inside.
- CT scan
By a series of precise images, a CT scan may reveal information about any region of your anatomy, particularly the bones, muscles, fats, and organs.
Inner tissues, bones, and organs get imaged on films using electromagnetic beams of radiation. However, these tests may not be as accurate as an MRI in diagnosing whiplash.
Specialists may use several treatment methods relying on the exact injuries you experienced during the accident and its after-effects. Many individuals will merely require over-the-counter medications and home care, while others may necessitate prescription drugs, specialized pain management, or even physical rehabilitation.
After a whiplash injury, healthcare professionals have often suggested using a cervical collar to keep the cervical spine from moving along with specific pain killers to help in alleviating the discomfort. Medical studies recommend stretching or exercising the stiff neck muscles shortly after a whiplash trauma may benefit, owing to the advancements and evolution across several disciplines. The following are examples of approaches administered without the use of medication:
- Chiropractic ways of spinal manipulation
- Muscle relaxation by cold laser stimulation
- Corrective exercises
- Ergonomic or lifestyle modifications
However, together with the therapeutic sessions, a whiplash doctor can inject steroid injections or prescribe pain relievers, such as no steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. It helps provide relief to the afflicted area.
The consumption and prevention of certain foods can also contribute verily to the process of healing. There is a range of meals that might help in recovery, such as:
- Spinach and kale as examples of leafy greens foods
- Fish containing omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna, etc.
- Two servings of fruits every day, preferably fruits of different colors
- You should avoid foods that have undergone extensive processes, including sugary drinks.
- Limit the consumption of lean meats, for instance, turkey meat and red meat or beef.
Physical exercise is a low-cost method of achieving long-term pain alleviation. This particular kind of therapy is a clinically validated, very successful treatment for whiplash, osteoarthritis, and car accident injuries which causes pain due to damaged bones, joints, muscles, and other soft tissues.
The signs associated with whiplashes, such as a sore neck and severe discomfort, generally improve within the next few days or over a week following the injury. The majority of the individuals recover entirely within a month or so, although older folks and those who have had past neck and back problems may endure lasting discomfort. But whatever the situation may be, you need to check in with your doctor if any symptoms persist after such an accident or cause concern.
Healthcare services in Atlanta provide a team of licensed doctors that includes primary care physicians, chiropractors or physical therapists, neurologists, orthopedists, and pain management specialists. Each of them has enough experience and awareness for ways to deliver high-quality assistance to people who undergo injuries from an automobile crash. Additionally, getting the guidance of a medical negligence physician already familiar with your condition is quite important. The task of these professionals is to permit individualized attention right after an accident, so you are in excellent hands.