Your head shoots forward, and then it slams backward again. This pair of movements is commonly associated with a condition called whiplash.
Whiplash is a common car accident injury, but it can also be caused by impacting another player during sports like football, rugby or ice hockey. It’s estimated that 4 out of every 1,000 Americans develop whiplash every year. In addition, whiplash can cause long-term effects. One medical study found that up to 42% of whiplash patients develop chronic symptoms.
Physical therapists can help you find out why people may develop long-term effects from whiplash. They can offer effective treatment for acute and chronic whiplash symptoms as well.
Three possible sources of long-term effects of whiplash
- Leaving it untreated — Whiplash is a condition whose symptoms don’t always appear right away. In some cases, its symptoms may not appear for days or even weeks later. This often means that people don’t seek help for whiplash right away. Unfortunately, not seeking immediate whiplash treatment can increase your risk of chronic symptoms.
- Traumatic brain injury — The neck isn’t the only area of the body that can be affected by whiplash. Your brain can be, too. The violent movements that cause this condition can also slam the brain into the inside of the skull. Such an impact can result in bruising and other damage, which is known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs can lead to chronic headaches, irritability and blurred vision.
- Emotional trauma — Some long-term effects of whiplash aren’t physical. Many people may develop emotional or psychological issues after an event that causes whiplash. For instance, some whiplash sufferers develop a fear of riding in cars. Those that can still drive or ride in a car may find driving much more stressful. Such nonphysical effects can last for a long time after the physical symptoms have disappeared.
Find effective help for your whiplash at SOL PT
Worried that you might develop some of the long-term effects of whiplash? Our team at SOL Physical Therapy can work with you to reduce the likelihood of chronic whiplash symptoms. We can evaluate you to make sure that your symptoms are being caused by whiplash. Then, our clinicians can come up with a treatment plan that’s customized to your injury and needs. Even better, we offer virtual physical therapy sessions that may allow you to address whiplash from home.
Contact our team today for more information about our whiplash treatment options or to schedule your initial in-person or virtual appointment.