Neck Pain: Stress or Chronic Whiplash?
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If you work and experience neck pain regularly, it could be the aftereffect of a stressful day at work. If you were recently in an accident, however, this could also be the cause of your discomfort.
But why did your whiplash go unnoticed after the accident?
This is because sometimes whiplash does not manifest itself as an injury right away. Quite frequently, whiplash is associated with some sort of accident, such as car accident, but at other times, it may also occur due to sudden jerking of your head either forward or backward, resulting in chronic neck strain.
Basically, whiplash is an injury caused to your neck’s soft tissues, and can have long-lasting symptoms which might not immediately be felt.
Symptoms of Whiplash
According to the American Chiropractic Association, the symptoms of whiplash do not commonly appear within 48 hours of an accident or injury. Moreover, the symptoms are quite similar to fibromyalgia.
Some of the common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Tightness in the neck
- Constant pain upon movement
- Muscles that appear knotted or hard
- Chronic pain in moving the neck backward or forward and sideways
- Stiffness and severe pain in moving the head to look over the shoulder
- Headache at the skull base which extends to forehead gradually
The onset, severity, and duration of symptoms depend on a variety of factors. For instance, the sensation may vanish in a few days of having an accident, but one should not assume that there is no cervical injury impacting the spine. Also, if you take more time in treating the symptoms than chances are that the pain will last persistently and become more severe.
Whiplash and Mental Function
People think that whiplash is just associated with physical injury, which is incorrect. Whiplash can also result in adverse mental function which can manifest in irritability, memory loss, inability to concentrate, depression, fatigue, cognitive impairment and other impairments. Moreover, people showing signs of whiplash may also face difficulty sleeping including both trouble in staying asleep and and an inability to fall asleep.
Treating Chronic Whiplash
The best way to work around the symptoms of whiplash is to first know if the pain is related to whiplash or something else. For this, you must talk to your health-care professional who may further recommend a specialist for proper treatment or diagnosis.
However, in majority of cases, patients are advised to remain active. They may be advised to wear a cervical collar to avoid neck movement throughout the healing treatment. For instant relief, one can opt for heat or ice therapy to treat muscle spasm, pain, and inflammation.
It is important to understand that your neck is sensitive and whiplash is a chronic condition. Hence, whenever you face neck pain, you must consider the possibility of whiplash and seek medical assistance immediately. Moreover, practice some strengthening exercise to keep your neck muscles limber and strong at all times.
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