Treatment of Whiplash

Whiplash is a specific type of neck strain due to the sudden changing movement of the head and neck. Whiplash is common among athletes and individuals who have experienced an accident (e.g., automobile accident). Whiplash occurs when an impact to the body or head causes the head to move or jerk suddenly and swiftly forwards or backward, causing neck strain. The whiplash itself is when the muscles and tendons within the neck are stretched beyond their limit and result in one or more tears. Due to the nature of how a whiplash injury can occur, it’s not uncommon for a whiplash injury to be accompanied by a concussion. Our orthopedic doctors and whiplash doctors at AICA Orthopedics can diagnose and prescribe whiplash treatment of any severity: contact us today to get to find relief from the head and neck pain that you are experiencing.

Whiplash treatments vary based on the severity of whiplash that you are experiencing and how you got the whiplash injury. For minor whiplash injuries, whiplash treatment suggestions may include periodically icing the neck and taking painkiller medication. Moderate whiplash injuries may require a neck brace, getting a massage, and definitely a whiplash doctor. Severe types of whiplash are rare but may require surgery from an orthopedic surgeon to alleviate ongoing pain showing no signs of improvement.

With the combination of neck doctors and specialists at AICA Orthopedics, we’ll provide an accurate diagnosis of your whiplash injury and will recommend personalized treatment solutions based on your situation. Contact our office today to get started.

Whiplash or Sprain?

It’s common for people to mistake whiplash (neck strain) for a neck sprain, but they are a little different. Neck strain (whiplash) is caused by direct damage to the muscle and tendons (bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones) whereas neck sprains (not whiplash) are the result of tearing of ligaments (tissues that connect bones together). The differences between the two are extremely small and may not be noticeable to an individual who is simply experiencing pain after an injury.

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Causes of Whiplash

Whiplash can be caused by any type of incident that results in the head being thrown quickly, with extreme force, backward and then forward or vice versa. The intense, quick movement can cause injury to bones in the spine, spinal discs between the vertebrae, ligaments, nerves, muscles, and more.The most common causes of whiplash include contact sports (such as football and other sports where collisions and impacts are a common risk), physical assault or abuse (such as being punched), and whiplash from car accidents. By far the most likely way for someone to get whiplash is in rear-end collisions. Injuries from a car accident can happen even if the impact of vehicles doesn’t seem particularly quick or extreme.

Symptoms of Whiplash

It’s pretty easy for most people to tell that they have whiplash, or at least that something is wrong. There is a noticeable amount of pain, tension, or discomfort in general when dealing with whiplash. Below are common symptoms that help you know if you have whiplash after an injury:

  • A headache at the base of the skull (which may sometimes radiate up and forward, towards the forehead)
  • Overall tenderness around the head or injury site
  • A noticeable stiffness (sometimes accompanied by pain) when trying to move the head to look over either or both shoulders
  • Pain when moving the head side to side or forward and backward
  • Decreased range of motion of the head through the neck
  • Muscles feel knotted or hard
  • Pain in the neck

Depending on the injury and impact intensity, the pain may be immediate or it may take a few hours to develop. If you’re not certain that you have whiplash but are experiencing discomfort in the neck or back, it is very important to have a specialist explore the issue. For most people, whiplash symptoms can last up to six weeks after the initial injury, but in some cases can last years if proper treatment has not been sought. Don’t assume soreness is normal after an accident or injury. Get whiplash treatment now so you can find relief and so that you aren’t dealing with lingering pain and other health issues for years to come.

You might recognize this clip of our AICA doctors dancing to Silento’s “Watch Me”. Rest assured our doctors are the best equipped to treat whiplash!

How to Diagnose Whiplash

When visiting AICA Orthopedics, you’ll visit with an experienced and friendly whiplash doctor who will ask you questions about your pain and how it was caused (such as whether an accident occurred or if the pain has developed over time). After an inspection of your neck, head, and/or back, your whiplash doctor may be able to diagnose whiplash. From there, imaging may or may be required to verify whiplash or to get more accurate about the severity of your whiplash injury.

MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT scans (computerized tomography) are the most common imaging practices for whiplash injuries. Both of these tests give specialists the ability to see inside the body to find bones out of alignment, tears in the tissues of the body, and more.


CT scan

If you find yourself experiencing whiplash, a physician might recommend a CT scan to pinpoint the source of the pain causing it. CT scans show soft tissue damage in the form of composite individual images.

MRI scan

MRI scans can also help your doctor or specialist to get to the root of your pain and injury. These scans utilize magnets and radio waves to give a radiologist an image of your injuries.


Getting Whiplash Treatment with AICA Orthopedics

It’s important to get proper medical treatment after an injury in an automobile, from contact sports, physical assault/abuse, or any other type of direct impact to the head. Reach out to us today to learn about the treatment options available for whiplash and other injuries to the head and/or neck.

Our team of whiplash doctors and medical specialists will diagnose the severity of the whiplash injury and can provide treatment recommendations for a quick and effective recovery.

Most cases of whiplash treatments do not require surgery and can be treated through a variety of at-home treatments and self-care practices, such as routinely icing/heating the neck and injured area, medication, massages, neck braces, and more.

For a quicker rate of recovery and improved results, our chiropractic specialists are ideal for the most common types of whiplash pain and injuries. Chiropractic helps to carefully realign the body over a series of chiropractic sessions back to its natural position. After an injury, the body can be misaligned and needs to be realigned to return the range of motion back to normal. In many cases, this can be enough to reduce the symptoms of whiplash while it heals.

In more severe cases of whiplash neck injury, orthopedic or interventional spine surgery may be required to realign the spine and neck or repair related injuries like a herniated disc.

Let our team of whiplash specialists give you accurate and effective treatment for your whiplash by contacting us today at AICA Orthopedics.

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