You’re stuck in traffic, moving forward at a snail’s pace. You hear your cell phone ringing, so you reach in your pocket and pull it out; a second later, you drop it on the floor. Without thinking, you take your eyes off the road for a fraction of a second to look for the phone and then you feel the impact. You just bumped into the car in front of you because they hit their brakes unexpectedly. Does it sound familiar? Unfortunately, with thousands of vehicles on the road every day, the likelihood of getting into a car accident is terrifyingly high. There are several common post-auto accident injuries that we treat at our auto injury clinic in Hollywood on a regular basis. In today’s article, we will focus on one of them – whiplash.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is a common result of a car collision. This injury is very serious and can’t be left neglected. It is a neck injury which is caused by a sudden snap of your head backwards, forward or sideways. Patients with whiplash have damaged the muscles and ligaments that support the neck and upper back because of an unnatural stretch and tear of the neck tendons and ligaments during the collision. If there is even a slight chance that you have whiplash, you should seek medical help right away to make sure that there is no inflammation or damage in your soft tissues or spinal cord.
1. It doesn’t require strong force to occur
It may seem that in order to damage the muscles and ligaments in the neck, an incredibly strong force has to be applied. The truth is that you may get whiplash even while driving 5-10 mph. Its severity depends on whether you were properly restrained during the collision. This is one of the reasons what you should always remember to buckle up before hitting the road.
2. Neck pain is only one of the symptoms
Don’t get misled and think that neck pain is the only possible symptom of whiplash. Many patients who visit our auto injury clinic in Hollywood after their car accident also suffer from dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, difficulty swallowing, neck stiffness and swelling, tingling in the arms, ringing in the ears, etc. All these symptoms may not appear until days or even weeks after your accident.
3. Whiplash may be hard to detect
Untreated whiplash may lead to chronic pain and stiffness of the neck, yet it’s not that easy to detect. X-rays, CT and MRI scans don’t clearly show soft tissue injury; that’s why it’s easy to miss. Nevertheless, our medical staff is highly trained in identifying whiplash. We also realize that sometimes, even though there’s no injury visible on an X-ray, the pain may still exist, and it requires pain medication or even localized injections.
4. Your age matters
Age also contributes to the severity of whiplash. Older people whose muscles are weaker and less flexible, and those who already suffer from conditions like arthritis may experience more severe whiplash. Since their bodies aren’t as durable as they used to be, unexpected impacts tend to have a stronger effect.
5. Too much rest is not good
At our auto injury clinic in Hollywood, we always tell our patients that a little bit of rest is fine, but lying down for an entire day to keep your neck still is the opposite of what they should do. It will only make the healing process last longer than it should. Your neck muscles should be moving to keep the neck flexible and healthy. Once your doctor gives you the green light, get back to your regular activities.
PRP for whiplash
One of the most helpful treatments for whiplash is platelet-rich plasma therapy. It uses parts of your own blood to help your body heal itself. This innovative process starts from a sample of your blood which is spun in a centrifuge to separate it into platelets, plasma, and red and white blood cells. Afterwards, the platelets are concentrated and mixed with some of the plasma. This mix is injected into your damaged tissue and your immune system reacts to it right away by taking away damaged cells, preparing the site for healing. The last phase includes multiplication of the stem cells, which repair and rebuild damaged tissue. We recommend watching this short yet informative video on PRP Therapy we offer for whiplash at our auto injury clinic in Hollywood.
Where to look for a reliable Auto Injury Clinic in Hollywood?
If you, or any of your loved ones, have been injured in a car accident and need immediate help, visit our auto injury clinic in Hollywood to get the best care in Broward County. Remember that our patients’ well-being is our priority; if you suspect you have whiplash, or suffer from any other common auto injuries, don’t hesitate to contact our office, where our professional staff will help you recover.
Please keep in mind that if you have life-threatening injuries, you should seek medical help at the emergency room right away.