Have you ever experienced whiplash syndrome? If you had a car accident, then chances are, you are more than familiar with this common neck injury. The latest statistics reveal that it affects around 3 million American adults every year, with 50 percent complaining about chronic symptoms. It’s also among the leading reasons for visits to the doctor or a cervical chiropractor.
But how exactly does it feel to have a whiplash injury? What specific symptoms should you expect to experience? Do whiplash and tinnitus occur together? More importantly, how long before the symptoms disappear? To help you figure out what you need to do, check out our discussion on whiplash syndrome below.
Whiplash Syndrome: How Does It Feel?
During a car accident, the neck tends to overextend in various directions. This rapid and forceful movement often injures multiple parts of your neck, such as the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, and discs. It can also cause the upper neck bones to shift from their positions, irritating or compressing nearby nerves and the brainstem.
It can cause different symptoms for each individual mainly because no two whiplash injuries are alike. Also, each patient has varying pre-existing health problems that may contribute to the discomfort that a whiplash syndrome can cause.
Most of the patients who seek the help of a cervical chiropractor note the following whiplash syndrome symptoms:
- Difficulty moving the head
- Muscle tenderness, especially on the neck, shoulders, and upper back
- Tingling or pins and needles sensation in the upper limbs
- Vertigo and dizziness
- Neck stiffness or pain
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
Often, patients who experience whiplash and tinnitus along with other symptoms seek immediate medical assistance. This is crucial to address concerns (such as a bone fracture) and prevent complications that may arise from a whiplash injury, including:
- Neckbone dislocation
- Serious nerve damage
- Degenerative disc disease
- Chronic headaches and migraine attacks
- Chronic neck pain
Depending on the injury, a whiplash syndrome can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months before the symptoms start to go away. The injury can also heal quickly through the help of professionals like your physician or go-to cervical chiropractor.
4 Quick Facts on Whiplash Syndrome
At first, a whiplash injury might not seem like a severe problem. That’s because many patients underestimate the role of the neck in protecting the brainstem. The brainstem is a central nervous system organ that relays information from the brain to different nerves of the body.
It often suffers when someone has a whiplash injury, causing series of problems to the body. Here are other quick facts you need to know about whiplash:
1. Excessive resting can result in delayed recovery.
Usually, when someone has a whiplash injury, doctors recommend staying away from physical, mental, and emotional stress for two to three days. It helps in healing the damaged tissues and rewiring disrupted nerve signal transmissions.
However, doctors and therapists note that excessive bed rest can slow down the recovery process. Prolonged inactivity can lead to stiff or weak muscles and painful joints. It would be best to keep away from strenuous activities but resume your old routine after completing your rest. You can also try gentle neck stretches or visit a cervical chiropractor to help your body heal.
2. Whiplash can arise from various events besides car collisions.
Besides car collisions, whiplash and tinnitus can also result from physical assault or injuries from sports like football, cycling, skiing, boxing, and skating. Any activity that results in sudden and forceful stretching of the neck can result in a whiplash injury.
3. It can cause all kinds of problems apart from neck stiffness or pain.
Most of the patients who come to a cervical chiropractor for whiplash relief complain about neck pain. However, that doesn’t mean neck pain or stiffness is the only key indicator of whiplash syndrome. There’s a reason doctors refer to it as a syndrome. You should expect to see other symptoms, including memory problems, difficulty sleeping, blurred vision, and ringing inside the ears. If you’re bothered by your symptoms, don’t hesitate to consult with a physician.
4. A whiplash injury can occur even without hyperextension of the neck.
Contrary to popular belief, whiplash and tinnitus can occur even if your neck doesn’t get hit by a ball or the head support of a car seat. Whiplash can easily happen when you experience a rapid movement of your head and neck during an accident, sports event, or traumatic incident. If you were exposed to any of these whiplash triggers, we recommend seeing a doctor or a cervical chiropractor for help.
How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Helps with Whiplash Syndrome
The neck is a fascinating body part as it holds the secret to many health problems, including migraines, vertigo, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia. Because it protects critical body parts like the cranial nerves and brainstem, you should never leave a whiplash injury unattended. Instead, set an appointment with your doctor and determine if your symptoms are warning signs of more significant health problems.
You can benefit from seeing a cervical chiropractor. Most patients with whiplash syndrome have neck bone misalignments, causing pinched or compressed nerves, muscle irritation, and brainstem malfunction. Unfortunately, a misalignment remains or gets worse over time if you don’t receive timely upper cervical chiropractic adjustments.
As soon as possible, you should get your neck examined by a nearby upper cervical care doctor if you have whiplash syndrome. Upper cervical care is a gentle means to restore your spinal health by making precise and minor adjustments to your neck.
As your neck bones shift back to their original alignments, you can start experiencing improvement in your symptoms like whiplash and tinnitus.
Reach out to an upper cervical chiropractor today for more information on upper cervical chiropractic adjustments.