Pinellas County Whiplash Injury Doctor

For many people, following a low-speed, rear-end car collision, within 24 to 48 hours, their neck starts hurting, affecting their range of motion. Those are classic symptoms of whiplash, which often takes a day or two to cause pain after an accident.

For most people, whiplash symptoms resolve within a few weeks, but for some individuals, the effects are long-lasting and debilitating. If you believe you have whiplash after an accident or injury, a Pinellas County whiplash injury doctor can help with diagnosis and treatment. Contact an experienced doctor today to schedule a consultation.

Whiplash Explained

Whiplash is not an official medical term. It gets its name from the whip-like action of the head and neck producing the resulting neck strain or sprain. Whiplash is described as a collection of symptoms that occur when the neck jolts or snaps after an accident or injury.

The accident may harm not only muscles and ligaments, but cervical disks, intervertebral joints, and nerves.

Common Whiplash Causes

The majority of whiplash victims are the drivers or passengers of rear-ended cars. However, that type of accident is far from the only cause of whiplash. Other common accidents or experiences that may result in whiplash include:

  • Assault – any sudden blow to the head may cause whiplash
  • Amusement park rides – especially rollercoasters
  • Falls
  • Sports injuries – especially contact sports, such as football or hockey

Any neck pain resulting from a traumatic injury requires immediate medical attention. Patients experiencing problems with balance and coordination should also see a Pinellas County whiplash doctor as soon as possible.

Typical Whiplash Symptoms

Whiplash symptoms are not limited to neck pain and stiffness. The condition may involve a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Tinnitus – ringing in the ears
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Shoulder and arm pain
  • Lumbar – lower back pain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Cognitive problems
  • Personality changes
  • Blurred vision
  • Jaw pain

Whiplash can make it difficult for a patient to work or carry on with normal, daily tasks.

How a Pinellas County Whiplash Injury Doctor Can Help

A Pinellas County whiplash injury doctor conducts a thorough physical examination, as well as taking the patient’s medical history and a history of the accident leading to the condition. Other diagnostic tools may include X-rays, MRIs and CAT scans. Whiplash often responds to conservative treatment, including icing, heat therapy, neck exercises recommended by the doctor, over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen, and massage. The doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants for some patients or sleep aids or antidepressants for those dealing with these issues.

If the patient does not improve within a few months, stronger measures are necessary for pain relief. These may include a full-fledged physical therapy regimen, injections of steroids into the affected area for long-term pain relief or the use of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). The latter is a device transmitting gentle electric current to the neck or another area to soothe pain.

Whiplash patients often suffer neck pain recurrence. The doctor will devise an individualized program for each patient designed to prevent neck pain down the road. If you have been rear-ended in a motor vehicle accident or suffered another type of whiplash injury, call a Pinellas County whiplash injury doctor today and make an appointment for an examination.