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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why should i be examined after a auto/car accident?

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

The most common symptoms related to whiplash include:

* neck pain and stiffness,

* headache,

* shoulder pain and stiffness,

* dizziness,

* fatigue,

* jaw pain (temporomandibular joint symptoms),

* arm pain,

* arm weakness,

* visual disturbances,

* ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and

* back pain.

In the more severe and chronic case of "whiplash associated disorder" symptoms can include:

* depression,

* anger,

* frustration,

* anxiety,

* stress,

* drug dependency,

* post-traumatic stress syndrome,

* sleep disturbance (insomnia),

* and

* social isolation.

How is whiplash diagnosed?

After an accident the patient may be taken to the hospital and/or a Chiropractor's office to be examined. The doctor will examine the patient to determine if they have any injuries that require treatment. Based on the symptoms and examination findings the doctor may place a collar on the neck for additional support. The doctor may also obtain x-rays of the neck to check for more serious injury. The most important first step is to make sure there is no major injury to the neck, head or the rest of the body requiring immediate treatment.

If the x-rays are normal but the patient continues to have neck pain, the doctor may keep the cervical collar in place and see the back in the office in about a week for an additional examination. At that time the doctor may obtain new x-rays to see if there have been any changes. If the doctor is still concerned about soft tissue injuries, he or she may obtain either x-rays with the head leaning forward and backwards (dynamic x-rays) or obtain an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging study). These dynamic x-rays or MRI scans are better able to detect injuries to the soft tissues of the neck, especially instability, that may not been seen with normal x-rays of the neck.

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