What Is Whiplash?

If you’ve ever been in a vehicle accident or talked to people who have, you may have heard the term whiplash. This is a common injury in car accidents, but there can be some misconceptions surrounding it.

Whiplash is commonly caused due to vehicle accidents. By definition it is a neck injury that comes from a sudden movement forwards and backwards in the head and neck. When a vehicle is traveling at speed and abruptly decelerates or stops, resulting in a jolt, it can cause a shock to your head and neck, which is unrestrained unlike the rest of your torso which is kept secure by your seat belt. Since it’s impractical that everyday drivers put on helmets and neck collars like racing drivers, whiplash happens quite commonly.

Note: Car accidents are not the only cause of whiplash, this is just one example of whiplash. 

Interestingly, whiplash can be difficult to identify early on, in fact, its symptoms can be delayed for 24 hours or even longer after the initial trauma.

Even if you aren’t immediately feeling the effects, your neck and head are experiencing damage that can get worse if left unexamined.

It can be tempting to think you don’t need a doctor after an accident if you don’t feel anything, but sometimes the worst is yet to come.

Symptoms of whiplash can include:

·      Neck pain and stiffness

·      Headaches

·      Shoulder pain

·      Arm weakness and pain

·      Back pain

Some of the treatments we use at Progressive Rehabilitation Medicine focus a lot on the safety of the head and neck. We have a lot of experience in trauma to the head, including concussions. Dr. Sunny Kim, specifically, has a wealth of knowledge on treatments in this area to promote healthy healing.

Whiplash is best treated as early as possible even if you may not be feeling any effects at all. Symptoms can progress into a loss of range of motion, lasting pain, and a decline in one’s posture. However, early treatment can prevent the worst from happening and even fully treat whiplash injuries.

If you have experienced a sudden shock to your neck and head, do not delay in contacting us at Progressive Rehabilitation Medicine so that we can help you put an end to pain before it gets worse.

Never assume that you are fine when something as delicate as your neck and head are involved.

Visit us in Cedar Rapids today.

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