Whiplash is a pain in the neck, literally and figuratively. It’s a soft tissue injury, which causes stiff neck pain symptoms.
Whiplash often causes neck pain and stiffness for a couple of days after your whipping event. However, your stiff neck pain symptoms may not develop for hours or even weeks post occurrence.
Familiar symptoms of whiplash are neck pain and stiffness. Yet, that’s not all the symptomatic damage it can cause. You may also experience:
- back pain
- blurred vision
- Horner’s syndrome
- myalgia ~ jaw, chest, shoulders, arms
- nerve compression ~ pain radiating out
In addition, whiplash can cause cognitive related outcomes, such as:
Whiplash pain and stiffness can come and go for months or years.
The most common cause of a whiplash injury occurs while riding in a vehicle that suddenly stops or is hit from behind. In this scenario, your seat belt keeps your body from being thrown forward, but your head is free to snap forward, then backward. And that’s the action that regularly causes whiplash.
Some other classic causes of whiplash involve:
- sports injuries
- being punched
- shaken ~ shaken baby syndrome
- amusement park rides ~ roller coaster
Because whiplash cannot be seen on an MRI scan, CT scan or X-ray, and ultrasound is not useful in pinpointing this injury, a diagnosis is merely determined via symptoms and physical examination. And that can cause a figurative pain in the neck whenever fault lies with another.
Why? Because independent documented proof of your injury is unavailable. In contrast, an x-ray of a broken bone is undeniable.
The treatment for a mild case of whiplash usually encompass range of motion exercises and physical therapy. For pain in the neck relief, OTC pain relievers or NSAIDs like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen are standard remedies. And applying heat might yield flexibility to your neck stiffness.
Relief provided by a health care professional for severe or chronic pain of whiplash may entail specialized treatment, like:
- cervical collar
- cervical traction
- spinal injections
- radiofrequency neurotomy
- spinal manipulation therapy
- transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
- drugs ~ muscle relaxants, opioid analgesics, antidepressants
Many recover fully from whiplash with proper care. This also concedes that during your neck health restoration stage you don’t:
- participate in sports
- lift, carry anything heavy
- sit for long periods of time
- engage in activities that bring on, worsen pain & stiffness
Nevertheless, stay active to keep the rest of your body healthy during the regaining of your neck health stretch.
Routinely, complete pain in neck relief arrives within 3 months after a whiplash injury.