DIAGNOSIS

If you suspect you have whiplash after a Car accident, it’s important to see a physiotherapist in Calgary, chiropractor or a doctor for proper diagnosis. During your appointment, your doctor will likely ask you questions about the event that caused your injury and the symptoms you’re experiencing after a motor vehicle accident in Calgary. They may also ask about your ability to perform everyday tasks and how often your symptoms occur. This information will help your doctor determine the severity of your whiplash and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Examination

When being examined for whiplash, your physiotherapist will physically manipulate your head, neck, and arms. They will ask you to perform basic movements to assess:

How far you can move your neck and shoulders

If certain movements cause pain or worsen existing pain

IMAGING TESTS

When someone experiences whiplash, it can be difficult to diagnose through imaging tests alone. However, doctors may still order imaging tests to rule out other conditions that could be contributing to the neck pain. X-rays can identify fractures, dislocations, or arthritis in the neck, while computerized tomography (CT) can produce cross-sectional images of bone to show possible damage. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and a magnetic field to create detailed 3D images, which can detect soft tissue injuries such as damage to the spinal cord, disks, or ligaments.

TREATMENT

Whiplash is a painful condition that can result from sudden jerking of the head, often due to a car accident or sports injury. If you experience whiplash, your whiplash treatment plan will depend on the severity of your injury. For mild cases, over-the-counter pain medication and at-home care may be sufficient. However, more severe cases may require prescription medication, specialized pain treatment, or physical therapy. The ultimate goals of treatment are to control pain, restore normal range of motion in your neck, and get you back to your normal activities as soon as possible.

PAIN MANAGEMENT

Whiplash can be a painful and debilitating injury, but there are several treatments available to help manage the pain. Your doctor may recommend rest for a day or two after the injury, but too much bed rest can actually delay recovery. Applying heat or cold to the neck for 15 minutes every few hours can also help alleviate pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can control mild to moderate pain, while prescription medications like certain antidepressants may be given for more severe pain. Muscle relaxants can also be used to loosen tight muscles and soothe pain, but they may cause drowsiness. Injections of lidocaine into painful muscle areas may also be used to decrease pain and allow for physical therapy.

EXERCISES AND OTHER TREATMENTS

Whiplash is a common injury that can result from a sudden jerking motion of the head, often caused by motor vehicle accidents. If you experience whiplash, your physiotherapist may recommend treatments and exercises to help restore range of motion in your stiff joints and alleviate pain. The exercises may include rotating your neck in both directions, tilting your head side to side, bending your neck toward your chest, and rolling your shoulders. Before exercising, applying moist heat or taking a warm shower may also be recommended to help loosen up the muscles in your neck. Other treatments are shockwave, hands on soft tissue mobilization and trigger point release, active release, joint mobilization and manipulations, IFC, Ultrasound therapy.

PHYSICAL THERAPY DOES NOT NEED DOCTOR’S REFERRAL

Whiplash can be a painful and debilitating condition, but physical therapy can help. If you’re experiencing ongoing pain or limited range of motion, your doctor may also recommend seeing a physical therapist when pain management through medications or injections does not work. During your sessions, your therapist will guide you through exercises to strengthen your muscles, improve your posture, and restore normal movement. In some cases, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may also be used to temporarily ease neck pain and improve muscle strength. The number of sessions needed will vary depending on your individual needs, and your therapist can also create a personalized exercise routine for you to do at home.

SOFT COLLARS

Whiplash is a common injury that occurs when the head and neck are suddenly jerked back and forth. In the past, soft foam cervical collars were often used to immobilize the neck and head after a whiplash injury. However, recent studies have shown that prolonged use of these collars can actually hinder recovery by decreasing muscle strength. Despite this, a collar may still be recommended to help manage pain and improve sleep in the immediate aftermath of the injury. The duration of collar use varies depending on the severity of the injury and the individual’s needs, with some experts suggesting no more than 72 hours of use and others recommending up to three hours a day for a few weeks. It’s important to consult with a doctor to determine the appropriate use of a collar for your specific situation.

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