Imagine this scenario: you’ve just gotten in a minor car accident and you think you have walked away with no injuries. But over the next few hours, days, or weeks, you start to develop some symptoms that include anything from pain and stiffness in the neck, upper back and shoulders, pain when you move your neck, headache, and tightness in the muscles in the neck or upper back. What you’re experiencing is called whiplash.
What Is Whiplash?
≈It can range greatly in severity, from just causing tingling and weakness in the neck and back to having severe and chronic pain that limits your range of motion. While car accidents, especially rear-endings, are the most common culprit of whiplash, it is also common amongst athletes in contact sports like football. It can begin to affect you immediately upon experiencing the trauma or it can also take some time for the symptoms to settle in.
How Do I Know It Is Whiplash?
Most patients wait to visit their doctor until after whiplash symptoms have begun to manifest, although it is a good idea to get a thorough examination any time you experience the type of physical injury that might cause whiplash. At NewSouth NeuroSpine, our physicians are trained to diagnose and help treat the condition. When you come to our office for an exam, we want to know about how your injury occurred, what your symptoms include, the severity of symptoms, your basic medical history, and any medications you’re taking to help with the pain. Our main goal is to exclude any other serious injuries through a physical exam, MRIs, or x-rays when needed. Once we have determined that whiplash is the cause of the neck, back, or head pain, we will proceed with treatment.
Whiplash is treated non-surgically. At NewSouth NeuroSpine, we focus on prescription medications and physical therapy exercises. Our well-trained staff will monitor your condition and adjust the treatment as necessary.
How Can I Prevent Whiplash?
Since whiplash typically occurs in an accident, it’s challenging to prepare for, making prevention difficult. However, you can take some easy steps to create safe driving and sports environments. It is crucial to practice safe driving, which will help with most aspects of car accident injuries. You should always wear a seatbelt when driving, and make sure that the headrest is positioned correctly. Air bags will help in the prevention of whiplash in the case of a car accident. In regards to sports injuries, it is important to wear proper safety equipment and padding. Additionally, maintaining good health through diet and exercise will help you recover from injuries.
Don’t Wait For Treatment
As is the case with many muscle injuries, it is best to address your whiplash as soon as you can. If you begin to feel those symptoms of neck and back pain, you can start with ice and over the counter painkillers to lessen the symptoms, then make an appointment with NewSouth NeuroSpine so that we can help you and ease your pain and get back to your normal life.