This is a fairly common form of damage to the cervical spine, which mainly occurs in car accidents and during sport activities. Other causes include falls, blows to the back and diving into the water. But still the main and most common cause is an accident, and to such damage can and the drivers and passengers. Most often, this diagnosis women.
A whiplash neck injury –damage to the ligaments and intervertebral joints. The basis of her sharp much flexion of the neck forward and then the same rapid extension ago.
The symptoms of whiplash injury of the neck will depend on the severity. The minor bumps any symptoms can you not feel for quite a long period. And only after a few hours, or even days, there is pain in the neck. Other manifestations of lung damage is dizziness, nausea, numbness of the fingers. All these symptoms should be attributed to neurological.
Usually the pain is so minor that is under the influence of painkillers. After a while it disappears, so people do not seek help to the doctor.
In severe symptoms to appear almost immediately. Sharp and severe pain in the neck, lumbar or thoracic spine, impaired vision, dizziness, nausea, vomiting. The danger of whiplash is that it affects not only cervical, but almost the entire spine. If the victim does not receive medical care, may be fatal.
The peculiarity of this kind of damage that happens it can with the passenger, who sits in any seat of a car or bus, as well as with chauffeur. Moreover, is compounded by the trauma of wearing seat belts, which do not allow the body to move forward, but the head and neck move forward making. Therefore, the effects of whiplash can be very unpleasant.
Most of the accident until diagnosis takes several hours and sometimes days. The reason is that the victim receives no visible damage to the neck, and the symptoms appear not always immediately. For example, severe headache appears only on the third – fifth day after the incident, so many do not see the relationship.
Diagnosis can be carried out by one of several methods. This x-ray of the cervical spine, MRI study, which allows to detect damage to cartilage, ligaments and hematomas, electroneuromyography, which explores the integrity and the nerve endings.
Treatment of whiplash neck mainly conducted conservatively. Only very rarely, when there is danger of spinal cord compression, surgery will be scheduled. Conservative treatment includes taking pain medications, wearing the collar of a Trench, which for some time restricted the movement of the spine in his cervical spine that normalizes the condition of the ligaments and other damaged items.
If necessary, assigned exercises and other physiotherapy conducted in the period of rehabilitation of the patient.
How to treat whiplash neck injury? It is very important to provide first aid and fix the neck stationary. This is done with the help of orthopedic collar, however, after the diagnosis and confirm the absence of fractures and dislocations of the collar is removed.
As for pain relief, here are mainly used drugs from the group of NSAIDs, which not only relieve pain, but also help to cope with inflammatory process. If the pain is severe, the treatment will be held in the hospital, then you can apply narcotic analgesics.
After removing the acute period is prescribed a course of manual therapy. It helps to strengthen the muscles, which can be quite badly damaged. However, such treatment is possible only when no fractures. If you had a fracture, doctors can prescribe prompt treatment with the installation of a retaining structure.
Without treatment, whiplash neck injury can cause very unpleasant consequences:
- The development of fibrosis, which leads to the ossification of the muscles and ligaments.
- Disruption of the ligaments leads to malfunction of other organs and systems, and the consequences can be unpredictable.
- Complications can affect the gastrointestinal tract, bladder and many other organs and systems.
If after the injury the victim did not seek treatment, these effects can appear after several years.
Prognosis is usually favorable. More than half of victims get rid of the symptoms in the first six months. Some symptoms can be observed even for two years, and only 8% of all victims develops long flowing postchristmas syndrome.
This condition develops after injury to the third or severe severity and is characterized by numbness of the hands, limitation of movement in the shoulder region, vision disorder