When to See a Doctor: Understanding the Symptoms and Treatment of Whiplash

When it comes to neck pain, stiffness, or numbness in the shoulders, arms, or legs, it's important to know when to see a doctor. Whiplash is a neck injury caused by sudden head movement and can be the result of a car accident or other incident. Pain Management Specialist Dr. Robert Bolash explains what causes whiplash, who is most at risk, and how long it can last.

Sometimes, a small vessel tears after an accident and releases inflammatory substances in the neck, causing swelling and pain. The more severe the pain after the initial injury and the higher the level of anxiety, the more likely it is that short-term acute neck pain will become a chronic problem. The goal of treatment is to recover range of motion as quickly as possible.We rarely advise patients to wear a soft neck collar, as we prefer to keep our joints and muscles moving rather than immobilizing them. If you're still experiencing significant pain after three months, it's a good idea to ask your doctor to evaluate your condition.

Then, he can recommend further treatment, if needed.Tight muscles and neck pain are common after an accident. But do you have whiplash? Find out who is at risk and how long the pain may last. In most cases, the pain will go away on its own within a month. If it persists or worsens, or if you have other symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, shoulder pain, blurred vision, dizziness, or difficulty concentrating, sleeping or swallowing, see your doctor for further evaluation.The recovery time depends on the severity of the whiplash.

Most cases are resolved within a few days. However, other neck strains may take weeks or longer to heal. Remember that everyone heals at a different rate.Whiplash is characterized by a series of symptoms that occur after neck damage. In whiplash, the intervertebral joints (located between the vertebrae), discs and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots can be damaged.

Symptoms include tightness or spasms of the neck or upper back muscles; pain with neck movement; headache; and dizziness (symptoms of a concussion).If you feel tension in your neck and shoulders after an accident or incident that causes your head to move forward or backward, it's important to understand what whiplash is and how to recognize its symptoms. Knowing when to see a doctor can help you get the treatment you need for a speedy recovery.

Harvey Strothers
Harvey Strothers

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