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What to Do If You Have Whiplash

About 2 million Americans suffer whiplash each year. Whiplash is a type of sprain or strain that happens when your neck snaps backward and forward quickly, and it can cause symptoms ranging from neck pain to blurred vision.

Auto accidents are possibly the most common cause of whiplash, but this injury can develop with any injury to the head and neck. Although whiplash is generally seen as a minor injury, it requires prompt treatment so you can heal and avoid chronic issues like neck pain and headaches.

If you’ve suffered a neck injury, trust your care to pain management specialists. Ronak Patel, MD, Elizabeth Pavlovsky, APRN, and our team at Regenerative Spine and Pain Institute specialize in treating auto accident injuries, including whiplash. Here’s what you need to know.

Learn the symptoms of whiplash

Neck pain is the best-known symptom of whiplash, but it — and other symptoms — may not be immediately noticeable after your injury. If you suffer an injury, accident, or blow to the head, pay close attention to changes in the way you feel in the days afterward.

It’s important to learn all the possible symptoms of whiplash so you can recognize the injury and start getting the treatment you need. Some of the most common symptoms of whiplash include:

More severe cases of whiplash can cause:

Whiplash symptoms typically develop within 24 hours after the incident, but not always. Sometimes, symptoms take several days or weeks to fully develop. If you notice pain spreading from your neck to your shoulders or arms, contact us immediately.

Visit the doctor after an injury or accident

If you notice neck pain and stiffness, don’t ignore your symptoms. It’s important to go to the doctor for a physical exam if you’ve been involved in an accident. Remember that whiplash symptoms may not develop right away, so get checked out even if you don’t feel injured.

Whiplash happens when your head is forced back and forth quickly, but you don’t have to suffer a high-speed injury to get whiplash. In fact, it’s possible to get whiplash at speeds as low as five miles per hour. High-impact sports and riding roller coasters can also cause whiplash.

When you suffer whiplash, the muscles and tendons in your neck stretch beyond their usual range, resulting in pain and stiffness. Your risk of suffering whiplash increases as you get older, but seeking prompt medical care is the best way to stop pain and reduce your risk of complications at every age.

Find personalized treatment for whiplash

Dr. Patel and our team at Regenerative Spine and Pain Institute are experts in diagnosing and treating common auto accident injuries and whiplash. We start with a comprehensive physical exam, along with diagnostic imaging like X-rays if necessary.

We customize your treatment plan based on your overall health and the severity of your whiplash. Many patients improve with a combination of over-the-counter or prescription pain medications. We may recommend wearing a neck brace or collar for a few days to allow your neck to rest.

For more severe injuries, we work with you to manage pain and promote healing. Advanced treatment options include physical therapy, regenerative medicine, and a range of injections to minimize pain. 

If you have whiplash, don’t ignore it. Find compassionate care at Regenerative Spine and Pain Institute and get relief from your whiplash symptoms. Contact our offices online or over the phone today.

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