Whiplash is often used as a broad term to describe neck pain. Today, we will take a closer look at this injury.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries from car accidents, especially rear-end collisions. It occurs when there is a forceful back and forth movement of the neck, like a whip cracking. Whiplash is a common type of neck strain, meaning that it involves damage to the muscle or tendons. The neck’s cracking motion can also cause injury to the spine, including the bones, discs, ligaments, muscles, nerves and tissues.

While they do occur often in car accidents, we also see whiplash in contact sports and situations with physical abuse or assault.

What are the symptoms?

There is a long and diverse list of symptoms that follow whiplash. They include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Decreased range of neck motion
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the shoulder, back or arms
  • Tingling and numbness in the arms
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Tinnitus, which is ringing in the ears
  • Issues sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Concentration issues
  • Memory issues
  • Depression

What are whiplash treatments?

There is no immediate cure for whiplash, but in general, it will heal on its own in time. There are things you can do to ease pain and help with the recovery process, like:

  • Pain relieving or anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Icing the neck
  • Applying heat to the neck
  • Ultrasound
  • Massage
  • Neck brace or collar for support

If you have been in a car accident or another situation in which you have experienced neck injury, you may be suffering from whiplash. It’s important to talk to a doctor about any symptoms you are experiencing because whiplash can also result in chronic pain that lasts for years. Don’t wait to get help if you are injured.