Denver Whiplash Doctor Near Me
Looking for a Denver whiplash doctor “near me”?
Whiplash is an injury to the neck and upper back that usually occurs from trauma like a rear-end car accident or even an unexpected “slip and fall”. Neck pain from a whiplash type injury is is one of the most common symptoms people notice after a car accident. This is because the head and neck are basically unsupported and unstable during these types of accidents. Unfortunately, many people that experience a whiplash injury won’t seek treatment after their accident. Whiplash injuries are serious and you should see a doctor for whiplash treatment near me after your car accident.
After a car accident, many people mistakenly think their neck pain is “no big deal” and will heal on it’s own. This is especially true if there doesn’t appear to be very much damage to their vehicle. Unfortunately, the symptoms of whiplash often don’t appear for days or sometimes weeks after an accident. By the time your pain does become an issue, you could be on your way to having a chronic, if not permanent problem.
Do I Have to Treat Whiplash?
While common, whiplash injuries are too often ignored, misdiagnosed, or not treated at all. Because whiplash doesn’t typically show up as cuts or bruises or on x-rays as broken bones, it is often dismissed in the emergency room. Even though it is sometimes ignored, it is a serious injury that causes serious problems. Finding a provider to treat whiplash near me is vital to avoid long term pain and even permanent disability.
Whiplash injuries occur when there is a forceful impact (typically from behind) that causes the head and neck to be thrown backwards and then rapidly forward again. It is most commonly seen in car accidents and some contact sports like football and wrestling, can lead to whiplash injuries.
Keep reading to learn more about whiplash and why you should undergo a medical evaluation for any type of neck pain following a traumatic accident.
What Is Whiplash?
“Whiplash” is also called an “Acceleration / Deceleration” injury and occurs when the head and neck are thrown backwards upon rear impact and then rapidly “whipped” forward. This rapid ack and forth motion and damages the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves in the neck and back.
While ligaments, tendons, and muscles are usually the most commonly injured tissues, the spinal discs can also be damaged. Rear-end motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of whiplash and even low-speed car accidents can cause a neck injury. However, whiplash can also be the result of falls, sports accidents, amusement park rides, and physical abuse.
When do Symptoms of Whiplash Appear?
Symptoms may be present immediately after an accident, or they may not appear for several days. Some people experience very mild symptoms, while others find themselves in excruciating pain. Here are common signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Neck or upper back pain
- Neck or upper back stiffness
- Difficulty moving the neck
- Reduced range of motion
- Headaches that begin at the base of the skull
- Pain that radiates to the shoulders, arms, or upper back
- Weakness, numbness, or tingling radiating to the shoulders and arms
More severe cases may cause symptoms like back pain, jaw pain, fatigue, blurred vision, irritability or mood changes, dizziness, concentration/memory issues, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), sleep changes, or depression.
You should always see a doctor if you experience pain or other symptoms after a traumatic accident. Don’t assume your injury is minor and will heal on its own. Whiplash is a serious condition that requires medical care and treatment for proper healing.
Failing to receive the proper medical care for whiplash could increase your chances of having long-term pain and symptoms. The term chronic whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) refers to chronic pain and symptoms stemming from an acute whiplash injury.
How Are Whiplash Injuries Treated?
Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of your whiplash injury. The goal of whiplash treatment near me is to minimize pain and restore normal function in the spine. Whiplash treatment near me should begin as soon as possible to allow proper healing and prevent chronic pain. After evaluating your whiplash injury, your doctor may prescribe a combination of the following types of treatment.
Ice and heat therapy – Directly following an accident, apply ice packs to your neck several times a day to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. After the first few days, you can switch to heat packs or alternate between the two. Heat can help reduce pain and soothe sore, tight tissues in your neck.
Medication – Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like Tylenol or Aleve can help relieve mild to moderate pain. If you are having severe pain or muscle spasm, your doctor may prescribe a stronger pain medication or muscle relaxants. However, these treatments will simply mask the symptoms of your injuries. They will not prevent you from developing long term problems as a result of your car accident.
Exercises and Stretches – Stretching and range of motion exercises can help improve your range of motion after a car accident. Restoring normal motion to injured joints and muscles can help shorten healing time and prevent long term tissue changes. Gentle movement within 1 or 2 days after your whiplash injury can relieve pain and improve range of motion. It is best to wait until your doctor provides exercises and stretches for your specific injury. Performing the first routine you find on the internet may worsen your symptoms.
Acupuncture – Once you have started healing, your doctor might recommend a course of physical therapy. A therapist will work with you to strengthen the neck muscles and continue restoring the full range of motion.
Chiropractic – Alternative therapies like chiropractic manipulation, massage, or acupuncture help some people reduce pain and muscle stiffness.
Massage Therapy – Whiplash injuries cause micro-tearing of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Once injured, these tissues heal resulting in scar tissue. Scar tissue develops just like a “scab on a cut”. This causes the underlying tissue to get “stuck” together resulting in stiffness and decreased flexibility of muscles and joints. Massage effectively breaks up scar tissue, increasing flexibility and reducing pain.
In the past, the most common medical advice to treat whiplash injuries included rest and immobilizing the neck with a cervical collar. Of course, it’s natural to want to rest for a period of time after a car accident if you are in pain and having difficulty moving. While it’s ok to take it easy, there is a down side to getting too much rest. Research shows that prolonged immobilization can lead to increased pain, stiffness, and weakness, as well as an increased chance of developing chronic pain and decreased range of motion.
What Is the Prognosis for my Whiplash?
With proper care and whiplash treatment near me, many people fully recover from their whiplash injuries within a few weeks to a few months. To ensure that you can fully recover from your whiplash injury, it is important to seek the right type of treatment and to begin that care immediately after your injury. Finding a whiplash doctor “near me” is very important. Proper whiplash treatment will require weeks and sometimes months of treatment to allow proper healing.
Unfortunately, because whiplash injuries are poorly understood by many medical providers, patients often don’t get the treatment they need. If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident and are experiencing neck or back pain, seek out a whiplash specialist that can properly diagnose and treat whiplash injuries. At Integrative Health and Rehabilitation, our providers specialize in treating car accident injuries like whiplash.
Long-term effects of whiplash can include persistent pain and stiffness months or even years after their car accident. Other symptoms can include chronic headaches, chronic pain, memory/concentration issues, or depression.
If you are older or have had previous neck or back injuries, you may be at a higher risk of experiencing long term issues after your car accident.
Preparing for Your Appointment in Our Office
If you have been in a car accident, you may have received care at the scene of the accident or even visited an emergency room. However, whiplash injuries may not cause symptoms right away. If you have neck pain, back pain, or headaches after your car accident, schedule an appointment with our office as soon as possible.
During your initial visit in our office, you’ll be asked to describe various aspects of your accident and injuries. Questions may include:
- Rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10?
- What activities make the pain worse?
- How long after your accident did your symptoms appear?
- What parts of your body are painful?
- Have you had neck pain, back pain, or headaches in the past?
- Have you taken any medications or tried any treatments to relieve the pain? If yes, what effects did they have?
Whiplash Treatment Near Me
If you have been in a car accident and need treatment for your injuries, contact Dr. James Doran and the staff at Integrative Health and Rehabilitation today for evaluation and treatment. Our board-certified doctors have vast experience treating common car crash injuries like whiplash, concussions, soft tissue damage, fractures, and spine damage.
So, if you need whiplash treatment near me call (303) 424-7171, text (833) 210-3525, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our online contact form to make an appointment today. You should be examined properly by our highly qualified and experienced doctor as soon as you can after your car, bike, or motorcycle accident.