Whiplash, or cervical sprains, are a common injury when you’ve been in an automobile accident. The force of a collision can snap your head back and forth, injuring your neck’s soft tissues and, sometimes, your vertebrae. For many, this condition clears up in a few weeks, but others have long-term problems. When your symptoms continue for months or years, you may have traumatic cervical syndrome with chronic symptoms. While this condition can be quite painful, there are treatments that can help improve your quality of life.
Traumatic Cervical Syndrome
If you have whiplash, you can expect to suffer from headaches, dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, nausea and other symptoms. Usually, these symptoms decline over a few weeks or months with the help of rest, OTC medications, prescription muscle relaxants and/or physical therapy. Sadly, studies show that up to 40% of patients have neck pain and headaches for several years after the initial trauma. Some are not able to work due to this condition. The headaches often stem from compression or inflammation of the nerves in the neck. Numbness and muscle weakness may also result from nerve compression.
A host of other symptoms have been connected to traumatic cervical syndrome, such as chronic vertigo, eye issues and even fibromyalgia. If you are still suffering from whiplash several months after the accident, you may need more aggressive treatment.
Advanced Pain Treatments
Your doctor may decide to perform a cervical facet radiofrequency neurotomy. Although the name sounds frightening, it is actually a nearly painless outpatient procedure that uses an electrical current to apply heat to nerve tissue in your neck. This treatment helps around 70% of patients who undergo it, and pain relief should last for around a year.
Another option for pain relief for this syndrome is cervical selective nerve root block, another outpatient procedure. Your physician will inject medication to numb the nerves in a specific area to stop chronic pain.
Another option is the cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injection. It also works to battle the pain from compressed and inflamed nerves. Your doctor uses a thin needle to inject the steroid mix, which then soothes the nerve and relieves your pain.
Need for Treatment
Some accident victims with chronic pain hesitate to continue treatment since many people are suspicious of whiplash symptoms, especially those that become chronic. You may hear, “It’s all in your head” and other unhelpful comments. Chronic pain from whiplash is real, and knowledgeable doctors understand this condition. That is why you need to seek immediate medical treatment any time you’ve been in an accident. Finding the right doctor means you won’t be left to suffer unnecessarily.
Regional Medical Group
Accident victims can find expert pain management help in the Atlanta area. At Regional Medical Group, they specialize in treating accident victims who have suffered a cervical injury. They understand that whiplash is a complex and debilitating condition that often lingers, robbing you of the ability to enjoy your life.
For some people, a lack of insurance limits their ability to get excellent care for their neck pain. At RMG, you get the benefit of advanced medical care and case management without paying a cent out-of-pocket. You will get an immediate appointment and referrals for any additional medical needs.
Regional Medical Group has a number of conveniently located clinics in and near Atlanta and throughout Georgia. To set an immediate appointment, call 404-943-9996. At RMG, they take whiplash seriously.