Whiplash: When to See a Doctor

Millions of people suffer from whiplash each year. Many of them need to undergo treatment for this soft tissue injury. Treatment for whiplash can include muscle relaxants, a cervical collar, physical therapy, chiropractic care, pain management, and more. The question is, when should you see a doctor? Let’s go over some signs that indicate it’s time to see a doctor for whiplash.

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You should seek medical advice as soon as possible. Same-Day appointments may be available.

The Pain Is Immediate

If you have neck or head pain related to whiplash right after an accident, go to the doctor immediately. Your doctor needs to assess you to determine if you have other issues as well. Your doctor can also help alleviate the pain while your neck heals from the injury.

The Pain Gets Worse

If your neck and head hurt more by the day, it’s time to see a doctor. You could be accidentally irritating the injury without realizing it. You also might have other injuries that haven’t been diagnosed. Don’t wait until the pain becomes unbearable. See a doctor quickly for relief.

You Have Other Physical Symptoms

If you notice other physical symptoms such as visual disturbances, arm and jaw pain, and fatigue, you need to visit the doctor for a thorough examination. While these could be whiplash symptoms, you also might have another issue. By undergoing evaluation and getting a diagnosis now, you can begin to move past your symptoms.

You Have Mental Health Problems

You are likely focused on your physical health if you have whiplash. However, you can experience mental health problems as well, such as depression and anxiety. This can be due to the trauma of the accident and the length of time it takes to recover from your injuries.

Going to the doctor is the first step in addressing your mental health problems. Your doctor can create a treatment plan to alleviate some of your symptoms.

Once you are in less pain, you should start to feel better emotionally. Your doctor can also refer you to a mental health professional. By addressing your physical and mental health needs in tandem, you will be that much closer to recovering.

You Don’t Get Better

Most of the pain normally goes away within a few days, and many people are completely pain-free after three months. However, as many as 50 percent of whiplash patients still have neck pain a year after the injury. If your pain doesn’t go away, you should see a doctor for treatment. Your doctor will help you overcome your symptoms so you can get your life back to normal.

Follow Your Gut

While these are signs that you should visit a doctor for whiplash, don’t discount your gut feeling. You might not have any of these signs, but you know that something isn’t right. You don’t have to wait for a sign to pop up. Instead, contact the doctor immediately.

Your doctor will evaluate you and listen to your concerns. Then, your doctor can create a customized treatment plan to help you get back on your feet after your accident.

 

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