It can be easy to shrug off neck pain as a common symptom of whiplash. However, if you experience an injury from a forceful snapping of your neck, you should get medical care as soon as possible. We often associate whiplash with auto accidents, but you can experience these types of neck injuries from any movement that causes your neck to move back and forth rapidly. For example, a whiplash injury can occur when being tackled in football or during a physical assault.

Common signs of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness that often worsens with movement
  • Reduced range of motion in the neck
  • Pain or tenderness in the lower or upper back, shoulders, or arms
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or hands
  • Headaches, often starting near the base of the skull
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness or fatigue
  • Anxiety or irritability

Unfortunately, ignoring whiplash can cause symptoms to worsen or even become chronic.

At Elite Pain Management and Recovery Centers, with five locations, including a new office in Las Vegas, our team can help identify the underlying damage causing your whiplash symptoms so you can receive effective treatment.

Whiplash 101

Your neck is a strong yet delicate structure. In fact, this part of your spine only has seven vertebrae, and they’re the smallest ones in your entire spinal column. Despite this, your neck can still support about 8% of your body weight — your head, which weighs 10-11 pounds when you reach adulthood.

Your neck and the many parts inside are what’s affected when you encounter a strong force that snaps your head forward and back or vice versa. While it’s easy to assume that whiplash only involves muscle strain or sprain, it can actually involve damage to any of your neck tissues, from your ligaments and nerves to your bones and discs.

Furthermore, having certain risk factors could increase the severity of your injury, such as:

  • Being an older age
  • Having a history of whiplash
  • Living with current neck or low back pain
  • Experiencing a high-speed injury

It’s also possible to sustain a neck injury without having symptoms immediately. As a result, you should schedule a consultation as soon as possible, even if you don’t have symptoms for hours, days, or even weeks.

Diagnosing & treating whiplash

There isn’t a single treatment for whiplash, because these injuries can vary from person to person. Instead, our team performs a comprehensive evaluation to identify the extent and severity of tissue damage in your neck. This exam typically involves discussing your accident and symptoms, reviewing your medical history, and performing digital imaging tests, such as CT scans or MRIs.

Based on our findings, we might recommend a variety of treatments, such as:

  • Ice or heat
  • Support devices, such as neck braces
  • Anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid, nerve block, or anesthetic injections
  • Radiofrequency ablation

With the right treatment, you can usually expect to notice improvements within a few days or a week of your treatment. And most people getting treatment for whiplash usually recover fully within a month.

Do you have whiplash? Don’t wait to get an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Book an appointment online or over the phone with Elite Pain Management and Recovery Centers today. We have five locations, including a new office in Las Vegas.

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