Injured in an accident should never assume that a sprained neck is a common problem. Such injuries usually show themselves after a few weeks or months. Those who suffer a neck injury must take this injury seriously and show themselves to a doctor and go to a physiotherapy clinic if needed. Whiplash may also occur due to a fall, sports injury, or attack. When this condition occurs for the patient, he experiences neck stiffness and a lot of pain in the joints behind the head, and it is possible to feel these pains in the chest or back areas as well. Usually, this injury only damages the soft tissue of the neck, but in most cases, doctors prescribe imaging of the cervical spine for the patient. For patients who have suffered a whiplash injury, the doctor suggests a soft medical collar to keep their neck immobilized and relieve their pain, painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and relaxants. Muscles are also prescribed.
Types of neck whiplash injuries
Neck whiplash injuries are divided into two types:
- In this type, whiplash injury is expected, the neck may be overextended during an accident, and when these accidents occur, the body is thrown forward, and the head remains in place; as a result of this excessive tension, it damages the neck.
- Whiplash injury occurs quickly; the head is bent forward with great intensity during the crash and involves the cervical spine; the human head system is such that the chin is not tilted too much. The head refuses to move forward, but this rapid movement causes longitudinal deviation and nerve damage to the neck.
Causes of whiplash neck injury
People can be injured in some situations, which we describe to you in the following cases:
- These injuries may occur to athletes during sports training, such as football, karate, boxing, etc.
- Severe accidents are one of the most common causes of whiplash injuries.
- In some cases, people may experience these severe neck injuries in physical encounters or attacks. In this case, it is possible that heavy punches or excessive shaking of the neck can cause whiplash injury.
- Falling on a bicycle
- horse riding
- Hitting the head with a heavy object
- Poor physical condition
Diagnosis of whiplash neck injury
The doctor checks the patient’s medical records to diagnose the whiplash injury. After that, he begins to examine the patient physically. Whiplash injuries of the neck mainly involve damage to the soft tissues of the neck, which are not fully visible on x-rays. Therefore, the doctor prescribes several imaging tests for the patient, which include:
- X-rays: X-ray images that can detect different angles of the neck, fractures, sprains, or neck osteoarthritis.
- Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI: In this type of imaging, a large magnet and a computer are used to image the organs and tissue structure accurately.
- Computed tomography or CT scan: To take pictures with this device, the doctor can take horizontal and axial images of the patient’s body using a computer and X-rays. With the help of the CT scan machine, very detailed pictures of different body parts, such as muscles, fat tissues, bones and internal organs, are taken.
Symptoms of whiplash neck injury
In some cases, the symptoms of a whiplash injury may appear after 12 hours or a day; these symptoms include:
- In most cases, the person suffers from neck pain after the accident, which may increase after a few days. The neck pain may also spread to the shoulders and hands. In some cases, it has been observed that the person suffers from jaw pain, stiffness and spasm of the paraspinal muscles.
- Pain between the shoulder and lower back
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Worsening pain with neck movement
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Tingling and numbness in the arms
- A headache that often starts at the base of the skull.
- Sensitivity to touch or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arm
- There may also be swelling of the back of the pharynx and dysphagia
- Insomnia and anxiety
- Weakness of the legs. Proactive tendon reflexes in the legs
Treatment methods for whiplash neck injury
For people who suffer whiplash injuries, usually in the first weeks, the doctor considers strength training for them. Patients who still have a lot of pain after a few months should see a spine specialist. But if this neck problem is a typical injury, the doctor prescribes the following for the patient:
To control your symptoms, the doctor will prescribe some medicines for you, but we must say that these medicines can never solve the problems completely; these medicines can only cure a part of your pain. The doctor prescribes these drugs based on the amount and intensity of your pain. Medicines injured people should use anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers or painkillers. If you have severe pain, your doctor may recommend using muscle relaxants.
- Medical necklaces
For those who suffer from this condition, the doctor advises them to use medical necklaces so that the head and neck remain fixed in place using these necklaces. You can use these necklaces for 3 hours a day during the first week of the injury. It should be noted that studies have shown that the neck muscles should not remain fixed for a long time, it is possible that the strength of the neck muscles will decrease, and this excessive use of necklaces will make the healing process difficult.
- Physiotherapy and exercise
In most cases, the doctor prescribes neck physiotherapy for the patient to regain his range of motion. Still, at the same time, he may also recommend a series of stretching exercises so that the patient can perform daily activities. Come back. The practices that the doctor may recommend to you include the following movements:
- Neck rotation in both directions
- Tilt your head to the side
- Bend your neck towards your chest
- Rolling your shoulders
So that you can relieve your pain, you can use this method of treatment. Acupuncture treatment is such that the therapist uses several skinny and long needles; these needles are inserted into trigger points, these trigger points are the nerve parts of your neck, through which the hands are stimulated, and the pain message to your brain is reduced. This treatment method makes the blood circulation in the tissues faster, and you experience less pain.
- Manual Therapy
Manual therapy is done, so the therapist manipulates it with hand pressure on the spine. By performing this action, the body can repair its injuries, and it also causes muscle pains to decrease.
In some cases, neck muscle massage can relieve neck pain.
- Electrical nerve stimulation
With this device, you can transfer a feeble electric current to your skin; this electric current will stimulate your nerve, the tissue will begin to repair itself, and the blood circulation in the tissues will be done faster.
- Neck whiplash surgery
It is scarce for people who have suffered a whiplash injury to need surgery. If the doctor determines that the intervertebral disc needs to be removed, it is possible to perform the following surgeries:
In this surgery, the doctor removes a part of the damaged intervertebral disc.
To perform this surgery, a magnifying microscope is used during surgery to remove the disc.
- Subcutaneous surgery
In most cases, this type of surgery is not performed in the cervical spine area but this surgery is performed in the lower back. Subcutaneous surgery is performed with radiological assistance, in which a hollow tube breaks the disc with the help of a rotating blade, after which the disc fragments are removed by aspiration. Once the desired disc is removed, the spine is adjusted and welded to provide permanent stability to the spine.