Treating Whiplash After Sports and Car Accidents

Everyone knows that driving a car and playing sports is presumably one of the most demanding tasks ever. As you need to have complete focus on the road and game, you cannot afford any distractions. However, due to different reasons, you can end up in an accident. An accident can affect any part of the body and leave you in a pitiful state, requiring immediate medical intervention.  

Possible Causes of Accidents 

There are multiple causes of automobile accidents listed below.

Inattentive during the game

You might get distracted due to any reason during the game, which results in whiplash or other injuries.   

Negligent driving

Driving while indulging in meaningless activities such as texting, calling, and eating can lead to severe accidents.  

Driving under the influence of alcohol/narcotics

While under the influence, the driver has sensory suppression, potentially making them lose control behind the wheel.

Over Speeding

Going at higher speeds reduces a person’s reaction time, increasing the probability of a car crash.

Reckless driving

Driving without taking the traffic rules and regulations into consideration and not caring about others can jeopardize the lives of multiple people.

Rainy weather

Rain can make roads extremely slippery, allowing vehicles to skid over quickly. 

What to Do After An Accident?

After a crash, you should call the nearest hospital and inform the police about your situation. If you experience any pain or any symptoms, it is best to refer to an accident injury doctor in your vicinity and follow the treatment plan prescribed by them. 

Injuries Associated With Both Sports and Automobile Accidents

There are various injuries associated with accidents, listed down below.

Head injury

It occurs when a person experiences a head blow from the accident. The physical jolt can damage the blood vessels and tissues in the brain. Various brain regions are affected, most commonly the temporal and frontal lobes. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can be fatal.

Spinal cord injury 

Trauma to the cervical spine, lumbar spine or thoracic spine can damage or sever the spinal cord and cause paralysis from the neck down or the waist down. You may suffer paralysis in the following four categories: Monoplegia, Hemiplegia, Paraplegia, and Tetraplegia. 

Cuts and bruises

These are common injuries resulting from a car crash and sports. However, their treatment is simple in most cases. 


The most common causes include contact with hot metal, hot water, or steam escaping from a damaged radiator or contact with other heated elements of the vehicle. 

Broken bones and ribs

An impact from the crash or hit can cause physical trauma to the ribs and bones. It is associated with an intense amount of pain as urgent medical treatment is required. 

Knee trauma

Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury, commonly known as dashboard knee, occurs when a person hits the dashboard of the car, affecting the ligament connecting the tibia (shinbone) to the femur (thighbone).

Internal bleeding

Blood vessels can get damaged in the crash, leading to blood clot formation in the body. Blood clots lodged to distant body areas like the brain can cause fatal conditions example, stroke. 

Disfiguring facial injuries

Damage to the facial bones can result in permanent deformities, requiring various surgeries by medical professionals. 

Neck injury

It can occur due to a collision experienced by the neck during the crash. The most common neck injury is whiplash injury, also referred to as neck strain. 

What is a Whiplash injury?

It is an injury caused by any impact or blow that causes your neck to jerk in the backward or forward direction. It relates to neck strain. However, neck strains are often confused with neck sprains, although they are a bit different. Damage to the muscle or the tendons can cause neck strain. Neck sprains are caused by tearing of the ligaments, the tissues that connect the bones.

Causes of Whiplash

It can occur from various factors listed below.

  • Rear-end car accidents.
  • Sports injuries are occurring during games like football.
  • Physical trauma, for example, a fall.
  • Physical abuse such as being punched or shaken.

Although, the leading cause is automobile accidents. 

Events That Occur in a Whiplash Injury During the Crash

  • When a car gets hit from behind, the seat pushes against the back. The cervical spine is compressed upward against the head, putting strain on the spinal cord. 
  • The body keeps moving forward, while the head does not. Hence, the spinal cord becomes S in shape instead of a C. 
  • The head strikes against the seat, while the neck immediately stretches backward, soft tissues near the front neck are likely to be harmed. 
  • The head accelerates in a forward direction. As the head jerks forward, the seatbelt holds back the torso, the neck quickly bends, leading to whiplash.

Symptoms of Whiplash

The pain experienced from this can begin immediately after the accident or after a few days. However, the pain is often hard to ignore and should be checked up by a medical professional. 

Listed below are a few symptoms that you might experience in this condition.

  • Pain, decreased range of motion, and tightness in the neck. The muscles may feel thick or tied.
  • Pain when rocking your head from side to side or backward and forward.
  • Numbness in arm or hand.
  • Excessively fatigued.
  • Tenderness occurs in the shoulder, upper back, and arms.
  • Dizziness.
  • Blurred vision.
  • People experience headaches at the base of the skull that radiates towards the forehead.

Other less common symptoms include the following.

  • Ringing in ears.
  • Memory and concentration problems.
  • Difficulty in sleeping (Insomnia).

Diagnosis techniques

Doctors usually diagnose this condition by asking the patient multiple questions about their daily lives and perform several exercises to access their motility. These assessments include the following. 

  • The doctor will look at your posture and range of motion.
  • The degree of movement in the shoulder and joints is accessed. 
  • Your doctor will feel your spine, note its curvature and alignment, and feel for muscle spasms.
  • Limb strength assessment.

For additional evaluation, extra tests may be necessary to find the complexities and diagnose damage to muscle or ligaments. These tests include X-Ray, CT scan, and MRI. 

Whiplash treatment

The whiplash treatment aims to reduce pain, restore the normal range of motion, and get back to your normal activates. For recovery following steps should be followed. 

  • Rest as much as possible.
  • Ice your neck to reduce pain and swelling as soon as you can after the injury.
  • Apply moist heat after icing your neck.
  • Massage may help decrease the pain.
  • Wear a collar if necessary.
  • Take analgesics like Aspirin, Panadol, Tylenol and Ibuprofen to reduce pain and muscle relaxants to loosen muscles, prescribed by your doctor.
  • Practice physical therapy told by your healthcare provider.
  • Do exercises like tilting your head side to side, bending your neck towards your chest, rolling your shoulders, and chin tucks. Perform these activities promptly under the supervision of your doctor. 
  • A severe whiplash injury involving a ruptured spinal disc may necessitate surgery.
  • You can also visit a chiropractor who adjusts your spine and other body parts without surgery to relieve pain.

Final thoughts

Numerous treatment options are available to deal with injuries like whiplash but avoiding such circumstances is the best option. Practicing a fit lifestyle that does not leave you susceptible to damage is essential. On top of that, always keep your mind attentive while driving and playing sports. 

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