Whiplash Injury

Whiplash Injury

Whiplash is most often related to an injury resulting from a rear-end car collision. When this occurs, an individual’s head is suddenly jolted backward and then forward, almost like the motion of a whip. This instantaneous motion pushes the neck muscles and surrounding ligaments well beyond their normal range of motion, resulting in a debilitating injury.

At American Spine, we see a lot of patients seeking treatment for a pain condition they sustained from an automobile collision. Our professional medical staff takes the time to evaluate every patient’s condition to determine what the best form of treatment will be. For whiplash injuries, we understand that it can limit the patient’s ability to do normally daily activities. Our physicians work efficiently so that these individuals can have significant reduction in their pain and get back to doing the things they love.

There is no set definition for a whiplash injury. This is because they can range from mild to severe. Typically, physicians will recommend the patient to use over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. In addition, applying ice to painful neck muscles will work on the same symptom relief.

Most patients will see results within a short amount of time; usually a few weeks. However, some individuals may develop a chronic pain condition from their whiplash injury. If this occurs, your American Spine physician will re-evaluate your symptoms and determine what the next best course of action will be.

In some cases, when a person is involved in an automobile collision, he or she will not feel immediate pain in their neck. Generally, these people will develop symptoms within a 24-hour period, however. Other than pain, common symptoms for a whiplash injury include:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability
  • Sleeping problems
  • Ringing in the ears

A patient can usually determine if he or she needs medical attention. We recommend that patients immediately seek pain relief from over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, and apply ice to the neck. If the pain spreads to the shoulders or arms, you experience pain when moving your head, or have numbness/weakness in the arms, contact your American Spine physician right away.

Whiplash injuries do not only occur after a car accident. This injury is specifically categorized by the straining of the muscles in ligaments in the neck. Other causes of this injury may be physical abuse or sports injury. Women are at a higher risk for sustaining a whiplash injury, simply because their necks are usually not as strong as men’s.

If you or someone you know has sustained a whiplash injury and has received little pain relief, contact a specialist at American Spine right away.

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246)

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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