Injury neck, arm. Whiplash


Q: I was in a car accident yesterday morning. I was jolt around a little, I didn,t hurt or anything. Then this morning when I got up my neck was a little sore and I can't raise my left arm above my head without some discomfort. I have an appoint with my regular doctor on tue. morning. Do you think I should get this checked out now or wait until tommorrow and tell my regular doctor.


A:   Neck strains result from acute injury to the neck. Such injuries are caused most often by the indirect trauma when the head is flung backward (hyperextension) or forward (hyper flexion), collectively known as whiplash. Injuries caused by rotation a Automobile accidents are responsible for many whiplash injuries because of hyperextension or hyper flexion. A common scenario is when a seat-belted person's head continues to move forward during a frontal impact and is then often thrown backward (the converse is also true). Side impacts typically result in bending of the head to that side, and rear impact tends to throw the head backward. Any or all of these movements usually no compression (when the force of impact lands on the top of the head) can also result in neck strains. After the assessment of your condition by your doctor, a plan will be formulated, in conjunction with you and your family, to treat your injuries. Consideration will be given to the length of time that might be involved for recovery. The vast majority of neck strains heal themselves with appropriate supportive self-care alone. Many people do not need specific medical intervention. Rest and apply local heat for symptomatic relief, and gradually resume your usual daily physical activity and work. If pain lasts beyond 2-3 weeks, consideration should be given to an evaluation by a physical medicine doctor. Several treatment plans are available for the person with persistent pain, including home cervical traction, under the direction of your doctor and physical therapist. You should contact your doctor for a referral, as needed.

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