What is Whiplash?
- Posted on: Aug 30 2018
Whiplash is a common neck condition that we’ve all heard about, usually in the context of a car accident. It occurs when there is a sudden backwards-forwards motion of the head. This movement can stretch the muscles and ligaments as the neck moves out of its normal range of motion.
We treat whiplash at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders on a regular basis.
Who Gets Whiplash?
Most people assume whiplash is basically the domain of car wrecks, and that is the most common cause. But these are other causes of whiplash:
- Rollercoaster rides
- Contact sports
- Physical abuse
That last item comes as a result of shaken baby syndrome.
Symptoms of Whiplash
If a person has suffered this kind of head/neck movement, he or she will usually develop some symptoms within 24 hours. However, it’s not unusual for other symptoms to appear, or for symptoms to worsen, weeks following the injury. These are the physical symptoms after whiplash:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Headaches, especially at the base of the skull
- Blurred vision
- Ringing or buzzing in the ears
Cognitive symptoms can also accompany whiplash:
- Concentration problems
- Memory issues
- Sleep disturbances
- Depression, anxiety, irritability
Most of our whiplash patients recover within 4 to 6 weeks through conservative treatments, such as rest, applying ice, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. When a case is more severe, it may require corticosteroid injections or the use of a cervical collar for several hours each day to immobilize the neck.
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Posted in: Whiplash