Whiplash is a neck injury caused by sudden forward and backward movement of the neck. In Rapid City, it has become very common because of different accidents that happen when people have fun or in daily activity. The whiplash analogy is derived from the sonic boom that is heard when cracking a whip. Whiplash cases are expected in accidents, especially head-on collisions, sports injuries, amusement park rides, and physical abuse. Muscles and ligaments are designed to extend to a specific range and any motion beyond causes damage. Whiplash related symptoms may delay, and that why checkups are necessary in case of accidents to identify any physical change. At the initial stages, whiplash manifests mild symptoms but with time, it causes more serious pain and may disrupt individuals from engaging in daily activities.
What causes whiplash injuries?
Auto accidents are, without doubt, the most common cause of whiplash in Rapid City. Rear-end accidents usually register a significant number of whiplash related cases. Whiplash typically occurs when your head is forcefully and quickly thrown forward and then backward. Such encounters tend to injure ligaments, muscles, nerves, and the spine. Other cases that are likely to cause whiplash include:
Contact sports. Contact sports such as karate, boxing, and football tackles involving collisions can sometimes cause whiplash.
Horseback riding. Whiplashinjuries often occur as riders try to break a fall. Other injuries in the process include strains, sprains, fractures of the wrist, shoulder, and bruises.
Physical abuse. A punch to the neck area can cause whiplash because of the instant shake.
Cycling accidents. Just like a car accident, riders face accidents, especially near junctions, and the fall may cause whiplash.
What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?
Whiplash-related symptoms may delay some time, but in many cases, they manifest within 24 hours but don’t get surprised if it takes days or weeks. Whether symptoms take a longer or shorter time to manifest, the truth is whiplash exhibits some serious symptoms that are difficult to ignore. Common symptoms include: tightness in the neck, decreased range of motion, hard and knotted muscles, pain when rocking your head forward and backward or even side to side, pain when looking over shoulders. It is worth noting that whiplash might come combined with other conditions such as concussion, and such cases are considered an emergency. One indication that you need emergency care is a persistent headache accompanied by confusion, dizziness, unconsciousness, and excessive sleep. Other symptoms that may manifest, though not very common, include the ringing of the ear, sleeplessness,irritability, concentration problems, and chronic pain in the neck and shoulder area.
How is whiplash diagnosed?
At Graceful touch, the well-trained massage therapists can treat whiplash in hours especially if the damage is not extended to the brain. Brain-related injuries may need the intervention of a medical doctor. Massage therapists at Graceful Touch are trained to identify such cases quickly. If your massage therapist advises you to seek further medical assistant, you should not hesitate to do so. In Rapid City, you can seek the best massage services from Graceful Touch and you can be sure to recover from home. Some of the condition that can be fixed on the spot through massage include
- Itching neck pain
- weakness in an arm or leg
- stiffness or pain in the neck that goes away and then returns
- tingling in your shoulders, pain, and numbness of both arms and legs
Before a massage session, the massage therapist is likely to ask a number of questions about the injury to rule out the best approach to apply. Some common questions include where you feel the pain and whether the pain is dull, sharp, or shooting.
At Graceful Touch, we do a physical exam to check your range of motion and look for areas of tenderness. A doctor may suggest other examinations such as X-ray, CT scans, and MRI to check the status of soft tissues, nerves, or even the spinal cord.
What is the process of treating whiplash at Graceful Touch in Rapid City?
The most common treatment for whiplash injuries is a soft cervical collar. The collar is used to control the range of motion in the affected area since a lot of movement can cause more injuries. However, immobilization should be used in the early stage of treatment, and it should not be prolonged since it may disrupt the healing process.
Patients who get involved in managed motion tend to respond well. This is why it is advisable to seek help from a massage therapist who is trained in handling whiplash cases to help in early motion. Rotational exercises, especially within four days of the injury, help in healing, and in many cases, the pain is totally stopped.
People who get involved in accidents tend to take rest for some time, and in many cases, they spend a lot of time in bed. Excessive rest can cause chronic symptoms due to immobilization that happens in the process. Reduced motion is likely to cause stiffness and reduced blood flow to the affected body parts. Instead of resting all day long, it is advisable to seek help from a massage therapist to help restore motion in the affected area. Stiffness can affect the motion of the affected parts even after recovery, and therefore it should be avoided as much as possible.
Physical therapy is also very important in restoring the strength of the affected body parts. If not done in the healing process. Patients are forced to spend some extra time after healing to restore body motion to normal.
Injuries also come with some level of anxiety and depression because they affect the day-to-day activities. It is important to support the victims psychologically by giving them hope of recovering. Getting involved in exercises is one way to reduce stress. Resting at home or even spend too much time in bed can be a significant source of stress, and that why it is important to book a massage session while at the same time interacting with people.
Other techniques that can be used to manage whiplash include:
Ice your neck: exposing the affected area to low-temperature helps in pain management, and it is also a way to reduce the swelling. Do it for 15 minutes in intervals of 3-4 hours for about 3 days. Ice can sometimes injure the skin, and therefore it is advisable to wrap the ice in a thin cloth or a towel.
Take painkillers: Too much pain can stop one from exercising or even interacting with other people. The use of painkillers can help manage pain in the healing process, but it is important to seek medical advice to get the right drug for your case. Sometimes Relaxing your muscles through the help of a physical therapist is all you need to manage the pain.
Use a neck brace: Injured neck require a lot of support, but it is worth noting that this should not be overdone. The collar should be used in the first few days, and then the motion should slowly get restored to ensure the muscles are strong during the healing process.
Apply hot vapor to the neck: Earlier, we had talked of the icing technique, and therefore this can be a contradiction. Well, not really; the heat should come after 2-3 days of icing. The best way to know you are ready for heating is after the initial swelling is gone. You can heat the affected area using a warm towel or by merely having a hot shower.
How can one avoid a whiplash injury in Rapid City?
Whiplash commonly happens in accidents, and therefore it isn’t easy to prevent such cases. All the same, automobile advancements have made significant efforts to enhance safety, such as using safety belts that restrict movement in case of accidents. Many people ignore the safety measure integrated into automobiles, but proper use can save a life or prevent excessive injury. It worth noting that struck can happen from behind or front, and therefore it is important to use a head restraint to prepare for either side. Many automobiles have additional safety systems, including airbags and air curtains to protect passengers and drivers from injury.
What complication comes with whiplash
Whiplash cases can get complicated, and sometimes it is difficult even to trace the source of pain. Some of the indications of chronic injuries include a headache that may keep coming back for years. Whiplash injury should recover within a few weeks, and having repetitive pain should be considered an emergency. Sometimes the pain may be caused by damaged disks, torn ligaments, or broken neck joints.
LMT Guy Siverson
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