Understanding a whiplash injury

One of the most frequent injuries you could suffer in a Louisiana car crash, especially if the car behind you rear-ends yours, is that of whiplash. This type of injury occurs when your head and neck violently jerk forward and backward due to the impact of the crash. This sudden and violent motion causes damage to your neck’s nerves and tissues, often resulting in the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain in your neck
  • Severe pain in your upper back and/or shoulders
  • Substantial stiffness in your neck
  • Substantial decrease in the range of motion of your head and neck
  • Frequent headaches, often severe
  • Frequent numbness, tingling and/or weakness in your shoulders and/or arms

Obtaining a whiplash diagnosis

Unfortunately, your physician may find it difficult to diagnose your precise whiplash injury. Why? Because the source of these soft tissue injuries that cause such diffuse pain and discomfort often is difficult to pinpoint. Consequently, when you go to see your doctor, (s)he likely will do the following:

  • Give you a complete physical examination
  • Take your complete medical history
  • Order x-rays of your neck and back
  • Order a CT scan
  • Order an MRI

Treating whiplash

Usually your physician will initially recommend over-the-counter pain medications for your whiplash injury. (S)he may also recommend that you wear a cervical collar to stabilize your head. Should you suffer severe pain, however, you may need to take prescription medications for it. If your pain and discomfort persists for longer than a few weeks, you likely will require what could become an extended treatment course consisting of such things as chiropractic and/or acupuncture therapies.

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