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Don’t Ignore These Signs of Whiplash After an Accident

Don’t Ignore These Signs of Whiplash After an Accident

Car accidents are traumatizing and range from a mild fender bender to horrific multi-car pile-ups. They happen when you least expect it and can lead to severe disability and painful injuries.

Broken bones, lacerations, and concussions are just a few of the injuries people sustain in a crash – but most people forget about whiplash. After an accident, whiplash can sneak up and cause severe issues with your life.

At Pinnacle Health Chiropractic, Dr. Jason Ablett and his team offer expert care to car accident victims. Dr. Ablett is an experienced chiropractor who offers various helpful treatments for whiplash, neck pain, and headaches after an accident.

The facts on whiplash

Whiplash is one of the many injuries people sustain in a car accident, from contact sports, or from riding a rollercoaster. Although it doesn't sound horrific, it's a severe injury that often requires treatment.

Whiplash results from an outside force that makes the spine, especially around the neck, move in ways it shouldn't. When your neck moves around during an accident and whiplash occurs, you suffer a form of neck strain.

Healthcare professionals often treat whiplash as an emergency until they can stabilize the spine and rule out the serious spinal cord or vertebral injuries. Whiplash occurs when an accident causes the head, neck, and body to move in different directions at varying speeds.

The forces that cause everything to move at different speeds make the ligaments, bones, and muscles move past their normal motion, causing strains and pain. There are various grades of a whiplash injury, including:

Each grade of whiplash gets worse and has varying symptoms that require immediate treatment. Even if you don't feel anything right after an accident, it's crucial to seek treatment to avoid the long-term effects of neck or head injuries.

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

The primary issue with whiplash is that it only sometimes shows up right after an accident, partly due to the adrenaline your body exerts during the event. The adrenaline often masks the symptoms several hours to days after the event.

The severity of the accident may indicate the grade of injury you sustained. For instance, a minor fender-bender may only lead to a grade one or two injury. At the same time, a significant impact may cause a grade-four injury.

One of the most common signs of whiplash is severe neck pain after an accident. However, there are other symptoms that you shouldn't ignore, which include:

A grade four whiplash injury is the most severe, often causing all the above symptoms, only more severe. The neurological symptoms of a grade four injury usually indicate an issue with at least one vertebrae. It may signal a vertebral fracture or the bone, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

Why you should seek treatment quickly

It's essential to seek treatment after a car accident for many reasons, including whiplash. You may feel fine at the scene, but hours later, the pain creeps up, and you begin to feel the effects of the injury.

If you think you've sustained whiplash, it's crucial to seek treatment in an emergency room where they can rule out serious injury to your spine or spinal cord. If you have whiplash, you may require follow-up care with a specialist like Dr. Ablett.

Dr. Ablett evaluates your spine and neck and reviews your X-rays or imaging studies obtained in the ER. He then creates a customized plan to help you overcome whiplash and neck strains.

He offers various treatment techniques, including manual muscle manipulation, chiropractic adjustments, and rehabilitative exercises to help you heal from a whiplash injury. You may require weeks or even months of treatment to overcome a whiplash injury.

Without treatment, whiplash injuries can lead to permanent neck problems, neurological issues, and undiagnosed fractures of the cervical spine. It's essential to seek immediate treatment and follow-up care after an accident to prevent life-long complications.

To find out more about our treatments for whiplash, don't hesitate to call our office in Kirkland, Washington, to schedule an appointment or book a consultation on our website.

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