The symptoms may occur immediately or minutes to hours after the initial injury, the symptoms of whiplash includes neck pain and swelling, muscle spasms, tenderness along the back of neck and difficulty to moving around the neck. Whiplash is not a medical term; it is used to describe neck pain following an injury to the soft tissues like ligaments, muscles, tendons of neck. It is caused by sudden and forceful movement of one’s head. Whiplash happens in motor vehicle accidents, sporting activities, accidental falls, and assault.
- neck pain (stiffness, soreness, burning, achiness, sharp)
- arm pain (numbness, tingling, burning, achiness)
- shoulder pain
- upper back pain
Screening and Diagnosis:
Your doctor will take a complete medical history and perform a physical examination, including a neurological examination. The doctor will test your muscle strength, sensation of your extremities and reflexes. Imaging tests such as x-rays, CT scan, MRI and blood tests may be performed to rule out other conditions, such as fracture, infection, tumor, or arthritis.
In mild cases of treatment for whiplash injury may include rest, ice and/or heat, a cervical collar and medications. If pain persists, physical therapy or chiropractic care may be advised. In severe cases, whiplash symptoms may persist for months or even years. It is important to discuss treatment options with your doctor.