Broward County Whiplash Injury Doctor

If you have been rear-ended in a motor vehicle accident, you might think initially that you walked away without serious injury. For many people in such situations, the pain starts 24 to 48 hours later. That is the nature of whiplash.

Most victims recover within a few weeks, but for some people, a whiplash injury becomes chronic. That is especially true for people who suffered previous neck injuries.

If you have experienced a rear-end car collision in which you were the driver or passenger of the struck vehicle, visit a Broward County whiplash injury doctor if you start to feel the symptoms. A skilled doctor can discuss your options for treatment.

Whiplash Causes

While the rear-end car accident is the classic cause of whiplash, any actions causing rapid, back-and-forth movement of the neck, similar to a whip cracking may result in whiplash. The condition is a pulling or tearing of neck muscles, ligaments or tendons.

Whiplash is not a medical term, per se. It is technically a neck, or cervical, strain or sprain. A strain involves stretching or tearing of tendons or muscles, while sprains involve ligament injury. Other common causes of whiplash include:

  • Assault
  • Bungee jumping
  • Falls
  • Rollercoaster and other rapid amusement park rides
  • Sports injuries, especially contact sports like hockey or football

Before the advent of automobiles, whiplash was known as “railway spine,” since the most frequent victims were those involved in train accidents.

Whiplash Symptoms and Diagnosis

Neck pain and stiffness, along with a loss of range of motion, are the most frequent whiplash symptoms. Besides neck pain, whiplash symptoms include:

  • Arm and/or shoulder pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Hard, knotty muscles
  • Headache
  • Loss of concentration
  • Memory and other cognitive problems
  • Ringing in the ears, or tinnitus
  • Sleep issues

Some of the complications of whiplash seriously affect a victim’s life. They may not be able to work during recovery or cannot perform regular job tasks.

The doctor will conduct a physical examination and also take a complete medical history. That includes a patient’s previous incidents with neck pain. The patient is asked to perform basic tasks under the doctor’s observation, to determine the degree of range and degree of motion affected. Diagnostic testing may include X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.

How a Broward County Whiplash Injury Doctor Can Help

Conservative treatment includes the use of over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) for pain relief, along with regular icing of the neck. The doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants and/or sleep medications temporarily to help patients. The doctor will recommend a series of exercises designed to increase the neck’s range of motion. The doctor may or may not suggest the use of a neck brace, especially for use while sleeping. Some patients may benefit from massage therapy.

If the pain does not go away within a few months, further treatment is necessary. This may include more advanced physical therapy, and patients may require neck pain injections in order to complete their physical therapy program. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENs) may reduce neck pain via a device applying low-range electric current to the area.

If you suspect you have whiplash or any other back or neck injury, contact a Broward County whiplash injury doctor to make an appointment for an examination.