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What is Whiplash?

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What is Whiplash?

whiplash accident

Do you need whiplash treatment in Denver? Whiplash typically results from car accidents but can also occur from slips and falls and sports injuries. Any time a body is in motion and comes to a sudden stop (or vice versa), a whiplash injury can occur. The tissues usually involved in these injuries are tendons (aka “strains”), ligaments and joint capsules (aka “sprains”). Injury to the intervertebral discs (tears or herniation), and brain injuries or concussions can also occur. Also known as traumatic brain injuries (TBI), can occur even without hitting the your head!

Whiplash is an injury to the soft-tissues of the neck often referred to as a sprain or strain. Because of the unique set of symptoms associated with whiplash, doctors and researchers commonly use the term “whiplash associated disorders” (WAD) to describe the condition.

Symptoms of WAD vary widely. The most common are neck pain, stiffness, tender muscles and connective tissue (myofascial pain), headache, and dizziness. Sensations like burning, prickly, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, and referred pain can also occur. Symptoms of concussion can include cognitive problems, concentration loss, poor memory, anxiety/depression, sleep disturbances, and more!

3 Categories of Whiplash

The first category of WAD I includes symptoms without any significant examination findings; WAD II includes loss of cervical range of motion and evidence of soft-tissue damage; and WAD III includes WAD II elements with neurological loss—altered motor and/or sensory functions. There is a WAD IV which includes fracture, but this is less common and often excluded.

Treatment for WAD includes everything from doing nothing to intensive management from multiple disciplines including chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, and more. The goal of treatment is to restore normal function and activity participation, as well as symptom management.

The prognosis of WAD is generally good as many will recover without residual problems within days to weeks, with most people recovering around three months after the injury. Unfortunately, some are not so lucky and have continued neck pain, stiffness, headache, and some develop post-concussive syndrome. The latter can affect cognition, memory, vision, and other brain functions. Generally speaking, the higher the WAD category, the worse the prognosis, although each case MUST be managed by its own unique characteristics. If the injury includes neurological loss (muscle strength and/or sensory dysfunction like numbness, tingling, burning, pressure), the prognosis is often worse.

Whiplash Treatment in Denver

Whiplash treatment in Denver can include chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy and/or physical therapy. Anti-inflammatory herbs like ginger and turmeric, as well as proteolysis enzymes (bromelain, papain), and vitamin D can all help.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Denver, Wheat Ridge, Arvada or Lakewood, Colorado, contact our office today! Call (303) 424-7171 for a free Auto Injury Evaluation.

 

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