Many patients who have been in a car accident or play a sport have suffered from whiplash. Others, are not sure what whiplash is. Andrew Kitterman, PA-C at Prairie Spine goes over the basic information of whiplash and its treatments. Read the article below for more information and see what advancements Prairie Spine has made to ensure an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for you. If you have any questions or to schedule an appointment please contact us at 309-691-7774.
A common question I get from patients in the clinic is “What is whiplash?” Whiplash is a non-medical term used to describe an injury to the neck typically caused from the neck being forcibly bent either forward and then backward or backward and then forward. Many of the patients who suffer from this condition are victims of motor vehicle accidents or sports related injuries. Whiplash refers to injury of the soft tissues of the neck including the ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Whiplash can also be described as a neck sprain/strain injury. Whiplash can cause not only pain in the neck but also dizziness, numbness in the hands or arms, and even ringing in the ears. Specific treatment for whiplash depends upon the patient’s physical exam findings, symptoms, imaging studies, and desired outcomes. Typically through physical therapy, medication management, and other conservative measures patients can make a full recovery within a few weeks to months.
While whiplash typically resolves with just conservative treatment measures, it is important to be formally evaluated to ensure that there is no more serious underlying medical condition. It is very important to receive prompt care for whiplash. It has been shown that patients who begin early range of motion exercises and physical therapy have more improvement with pain and stiffness than patients who are immobilized for extended periods of time. This immobilization can lead to loss of muscle as well as decrease blood flow to the affected soft tissues which increases the risk of chronic symptoms. If you have experienced something that sounds like “whiplash” come see us at Prairie Spine and Pain Institute for a formal evaluation.