If you have ever been in a car crash and experienced pain in your neck, you have most likely had whiplash. Whiplash, also called neck sprain or neck strain, is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck. It is usually caused by sudden backward movement of the neck forward movement of the neck. This type of injury is often the result of rear-end car crashes. Severe whiplash can also include injury to the spinal joints, spinal discs, ligaments, cervical (neck) muscles and nerve roots.
Common Symptoms of Whiplash
Most people experience neck pain either immediately after the injury or several days later. Although for some people symptoms may appear weeks later. Neck pain is the most common symptom. Other symptoms of whiplash may include the following:
- Neck stiffness or pain
- Subluxation (vertebrae shifted out of alignment) from whiplash injury
- Injuries to the muscles and ligaments (myofascial injuries)
- Headache and dizziness (symptoms of a concussion)
- Difficulty swallowing and chewing and hoarseness (could indicate injury to the esophagus and larynx)
- Abnormal sensations such as burning or prickling (this is called paresthesias)
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
Diagnosis of Whiplash
Although whiplash usually only causes damage to the soft tissues of the neck, the physician will take x-rays of the cervical spine for reference in case of delayed symptoms and to rule out other spinal problems or injuries. In complex cases MRI testing may also be indicated. Chiropractors are well trained and experienced in diagnosing and treating whiplash related injuries.
Treatment of a whiplash type injury will vary depending on the type and severity of injury. Consult your Winter Park chiropractor today for a complete evaluation of your whiplash type injury. For people who don’t seek out immediate treatment for their whiplash injuries often complicating factors develop and it becomes more difficult to treat with less optimum outcomes.