What is whiplash?
Whiplash is the injury of the spine, intervertebral joints, ligaments, and/or cervical muscles of the neck. Many doctors will refer to whiplash as neck strain or neck sprain. Whiplash gets its name from how your head and neck move when your body experiences a sudden forceful change in duration.
When does whiplash occur?
Whiplash typically occurs following a sudden acceleration for deceleration to the body that causes quick forward to back or side to side movement. Whiplash can be caused my many different forces, but motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of whiplash. Over one million whiplash injuries occur from car accidents every year. The abrupt jerking motion of the head during a car accident applies a tremendous amount of stress to the neck which often results in some level of injury. Any type of car accident collision can cause whiplash, although whiplash most commonly occurs during rear impacts when the auto in front is stationary or moving slowly.
How serious is whiplash from car accidents?
Fortunately whiplash is generally not life threating, but injuries can range anywhere from mild soreness to unbearable pain. Some people who have suffered whiplash as part of a car accident injury will have the symptoms resolve on their own, but many will continue to experience the symptoms for many years after the injury if they don’t purse treatment with a doctor knowledgeable in the treatment of whiplash injuries. Whiplash is serious enough that you need to get yourself seen right away if you believe you are injured. You can follow this link to learn more about the seriousness of car accident whiplash injuries.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
The typical symptoms of whiplash are neck pain and stiffness, headaches, dizziness, pain in the shoulders or back, pain or numbness in arms or hands, trouble concentrating or remembering, irritability, and/or fatigue. According to WebMD Pain Management of Whiplash the symptoms of whiplash maybe be delayed for more than a day. Recently in our San Antonio office we have had several patients that didn’t show significant symptoms until several days after their car accident. Often patients tell us without treatment their symptoms continue to worsen each day after the injury.
How do I know if I have whiplash?
If you have experienced any type of traumatic force to your upper body and have any combination of the symptoms above there is a chance that you may be suffering from whiplash. It is very difficult for anyone to self-diagnose themselves therefore is pertinent to see a medical provider if you have any whiplash symptoms. In most cases whiplash injuries are to soft tissues of the neck such as discs, ligaments, and muscles and cannot be seen on X-rays. Typically a Computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging MRI can be used to help diagnose auto injuries to your body. The physicians at San Antonio Pain and Injury Doctors use the latest tools and techniques to help you properly diagnose your car accident injury and get you the treatment you need. If you believe you are suffering from a whiplash injury we urge you to see help from a trained car accident physician to ensure you are getting proper care.