Whiplash is a condition that can occur from trauma to the spine, typically after an auto accident. When a car is involved in an accident (whether you are rear-ended, t-boned or if your vehicle strikes another object) the momentum of the moving vehicle keeps your body moving even when your car has stopped. When this happens to your spine, mostly in the neck, the abrupt acceleration followed by de-acceleration causes the neck to snap forward then back, like a whip, especially when a seat belt is being worn. When the momentum comes to a stop, the muscles and ligaments of the spine or neck can be sprained/strained, resulting in a Whiplash injury.
Whiplash can result in instant soreness or pain, however, sometimes the symptoms of the trauma can take a few hours or even a few days to fully become symptomatic. Some of the most common symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, sharp pain, generalized ache in the effected area, soreness of the muscles and decreased range of motion with pain upon movement. There can also be a risk of concussion depending on the significance of the impact, which needs to be addressed as soon as possible to limit further damage to the brain. As with any injury, not addressing the symptoms can cause long-term issues. This is why it is important to always get a check-up if you’re ever involved in an auto accident, even if you don’t appear to be injured.
If you or someone you now has been in an accident, even within the last couple of years, do not hesitate to call and make an appointment today and seek out proper care and management.
Dr. Rob Koehn