Understanding Whiplash Injuries: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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A whiplash injury is an acceleration-deceleration type of trauma to the neck that often occurs when a person’s head is suddenly jerked backward or forward. It can result from car accidents, falls, sports injuries, and other physical activities. This type of injury can cause pain in the neck area as well as headaches and dizziness. In this post, we will explore what causes whiplash injuries, their symptoms, and treatment options available for sufferers.

What Causes Whiplash Injuries?

Whiplash injuries are typically caused by sudden movements that cause the neck muscles to stretch beyond their normal range of motion. These types of sudden movements often occur during motor vehicle accidents because those accidents involve rapid acceleration followed by deceleration which puts a great deal of strain on the cervical spine or neck. Other common causes include falls from heights or contact sports such as boxing where someone might be punched in the face causing their head to jerk backward quickly.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Whiplash Injury?

The most common symptom associated with a whiplash injury is a pain in the neck area which may range from mild discomfort to severe radiating pain down one or both arms depending on how badly damaged the soft tissues have been stretched during impact. Soft tissues impacted include ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Other symptoms may include stiffness or difficulty turning your head side-to-side; headaches; blurred vision; ringing in ears; fatigue; dizziness/vertigo; difficulty concentrating/memory problems; irritability/mood swings; and tingling sensations throughout body parts such as your arms and legs. Some individuals also experience psychological issues due to the trauma following an accident leading them to depression or anxiety disorders if left untreated.

How Is A Whiplash Injury Treated?

The main goal of treatment for whiplash injuries is to reduce pain levels while restoring mobility back to affected areas so that you can resume daily activities without further complications arising due to prolonged immobility. Physical therapy can help to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with a whiplash injury.

Physical therapists use manual techniques such as soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, stretching, and strengthening exercises to reduce stiffness in the neck muscles and restore range of motion. Strengthening exercises are also used to build strength in the surrounding tissues that support the neck joints so that they can better handle future trauma or stress. In addition to physical therapy, other treatments may be recommended depending on the severity of your injury.

These could include medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief. It is important to seek professional medical advice before engaging in any type of treatment so you can get an accurate diagnosis and determine what will work best for you based on your individual circumstances.

And of course, physical therapy is a huge help in recovery from whiplash from a car accident, sports injury or fall. Contact us to get started on your whiplash recovery.

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Written by:

Doctor of Physical Therapy

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