Important Things to Know About Whiplash Injury

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Whiplash is an injury of the neck and surrounding tissues due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. The article lists some important things about this neck injury.


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Important Things to Know About Whiplash Injury Whiplash is an injury of the neck and surrounding tissues due to forceful rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. The article lists some important things about this neck injury. Whiplash injury is a soft tissue injury to the neck. Also called neck sprain or neck strain it is usually caused by forceful rapid back-and-forth movement of the head. The can range from mild to severe and the intensity of the pain can differ from person to person. Leading multi-specialty pain management centers in Brooklyn NYC offer several effective options to treat the pain stiffness and other associated symptoms of the condition. Here are some important things you should know about this injury: Causes Generally whiplash occurs during a rear-end collisions. The collision impact causes sudden movement of the neck structures and changes the normal curve of the upper back and neck. The sudden movement forces these structures to stretch beyond their normal range of motion. The backward movement extension and forward movement flexion can injure bones in the spine disks between the bones ligaments muscles nerves and other tissues of the neck. Due to its ability to move in various directions the neck is particularly vulnerable to this type of injury. Whiplash can also result from sports accidents motor vehicle accidents slips and falls physical abuse or other trauma.

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Complications Whiplash can injure multiple components of the neck. Cervical vertebrae can be dislocated impairing joint function. Herniated discs can pinch nerve roots near the cervical spine. In addition neck muscles and connective tissues may also be strained or sprained. Some people experience chronic pain or headaches even years after the occurrence of the neck injury. However long-term complications from whiplash are rare. Common Symptoms The primary symptom associated with the condition is neck or upper back pain. In most cases the symptoms develop within 24 hours of injury and may vary widely among individuals. Other related symptoms include – • Neck pain and stiffness • Worsening of pain with neck movement • Tightness or spasms of the muscles in the neck or upper back • Tenderness or pain in shoulder upper back or arms • Pain with movement of the neck headache and dizziness symptoms of a concussion • Loss of range of motion in the neck • Headaches most often starting at the base of the skull • Fatigue and dizziness • Abnormal sensations such as burning or tingling Some people also experience certain other symptoms like blurred vision ringing in the ears tinnitus sleep disturbances irritability difficulty concentrating and memory issues as part of the condition. Diagnosis Diagnosis of whiplash injury starts with a detailed physical examination where the physician will examine and move your head neck and arms and ask you to move these structures and perform simple tasks. This will help determine the range of motion and tenderness in your neck and shoulders. You will

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also be asked questions about the type frequency and severity of your symptoms. Imaging tests such as X-rays computerized tomography CT scans magnetic resonance imaging MRI will be done to determine the exact type of neck injury. Pain management doctors will recommend the appropriate treatment options based on the results of the diagnostic tests. Treatment Modalities Most cases of mild neck injury can be treated using medications wearing a cervical collar brace and ice or heat application. However if patients continue to experience certain symptoms like difficulty in moving the head or arms neck pain numbness or tingling sensation in the arms neck or legs and specific issues with the bladder or bowels they should seek immediate medical attention. Pain management and rehabilitation centers based in Brooklyn offer nonsurgical treatment to alleviate the symptoms of severe neck pain. Treatment modalities include – Physical therapy – Physical therapy comprises therapeutic exercises like gentle strengthening stretching and aerobic exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the neck and improve posture and range of motion. Chiropractic care – Chiropractic treatment can loosen up the joints of the cervical vertebrae in the neck which can alleviate joint pain muscle spasms and correct the overall spinal alignment. Cervical epidural injections – Injection of medication into the epidural space lowers inflammation and irritation around the nerves. Prescription medications – Over-the-counter pain relievers such as such as acetaminophen Tylenol others and ibuprofen can help control mild to moderate whiplash pain. Ice or heat application - Ice or heat can be used to control pain and reduce muscle spasm and inflammation. Preventing Whiplash As most cases of whiplash injury occur due to rear-end car collisions taking certain safety precautions can reduce the risk of injury. These safety measures include – wearing a seat belt driving a motor vehicle with airbags and adjusting the car seat headrest appropriately to help keep the neck from snapping backwards. People who play contact sports need to use proper equipment like padding and also apply the right techniques to avoid neck injury. 718 769-2521