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Determining the Need to Seek Medical Care for Possible Whiplash
When the cervical spine is subjected to a very rapid movement of flexion-extension, the injury that occurs is known as whiplash. This often occurs when people traveling in a vehicle are involved in an accident. Symptoms include neck pain (neck and sometimes in the jaw, shoulders or chest) and muscle contracture in the head, neck, chest and arm regions. Safe driving at moderate speeds and always wearing a seat belt will help to reduce the chances of whiplash. A whiplash dr orlando should be consulted immediately after any accident, auto or otherwise.
Whiplash often occurs when the neck is subjected to an acceleration or bending movement followed by a second deceleration movement or an opposite extension. When these two movements occur suddenly at high speeds, the patient’s cervical musculature, which is not prepared for this type of trauma, reacts sharply and depresses the cervical spine, which can cause damage of varying degrees of severity. The main symptoms of cervical whiplash include neck pain and muscle spasms. Neck pain is usually not irradiated and is located in the neck, but sometimes it can occur in the jaw, shoulders, arms, or chest. Pain usually increases after two or three days of trauma, which is why most attorneys tell their clients to be seen by a back injury doctor orlando even if they aren’t in any pain.
Sometimes, depending on the strength of the impact and if there is head trauma involved, there may be confusion, disorientation or headaches of a temporal and spatial transient intensity. Contracture of the paravertebral muscles causes the sufferer’s neck movement to be limited to flexion and extension rotation, and pain may increase when trying to make these movements, especially during the first few days after the accident.
A diagnosis is based on the definition of trauma through a physical examination. Muscle contractions, to a lesser extent, may occur with limited movement. There may also be some pain when certain muscle groups are used. Doctors must complete a neurological examination to exclude nerve root involvement or a concussion. In the case of acute neurological impairment or subsequent control issues, nuclear magnetic resonance (MRI) imaging may be performed, if necessary.
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