Diagnosing whiplash can be a complicated task. This is because the symptoms of whiplash may not occur immediately after an accident. However, some signs and symptoms are common with whiplash, and along with further testing, they can be used to appropriately diagnose a whiplash injury.
If whiplash is experienced immediately after an accident, an emergency medical services team may place the patient into a cervical collar or stabilize them on a backboard to prevent further injury. A physician will inspect the patient’s neck and head for signs of trauma, externally, which can include cuts, bruises, swelling, and abrasions. Physicians may ask their patients to move their neck in certain directions to determine if any numbness, tingling, or pain is experienced.
When examining a patient for whiplash treatment in Tucker, medical professionals will also be on the lookout for some of the common signs and symptoms associated with whiplash. Depending on how severe the injury is, some of the symptoms and signs include:
- Swelling of the neck
- Tenderness along the shoulders and the back of the neck
- Spasms of the muscles in the front or back of the neck or in the shoulders
- Problems with rotating, extending, and flexing the head
- Tightness of the jaw or pain when chewing
- Difficulty concentrating, fatigue, sleep disturbances, or headache
- Visual disturbances, ringing of the ears, and other nerve irritation, but most commonly this is only found in the most severe cases of whiplash
Your Tucker Chiropractor may recommend diagnostic testing to diagnose whiplash. While an x-ray or other types of imaging may not show signs of whiplash, they can rule out other injuries as the source of a patient’s pain. However, if an x-ray shows abnormal findings, further imaging in the form of an MRI or CT scan may be ordered. After making an appropriate diagnosis of whiplash, treatment options can be explored.