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Identifying Whiplash

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Identifying Whiplash

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a term used to describe a form of neck strain that occurs when the head suddenly snaps forward.

While commonly associated with car accidents, the condition can happen nearly anytime during any activity. Engaging in high-impact sports like boxing, football, horseback riding, and others can lead to whiplash, too.

Here’s what you need to know about identifying whiplash, common symptoms, and what to do if you experience neck pain.

How to Identify Whiplash

It can be challenging to identify whiplash immediately after an accident. However, the onset of several symptoms can help you determine if you have this condition. These include:

  • Neck Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred Vision

It is also important to note that your whiplash symptoms might take a few hours to a couple of days before becoming noticeable, so it is never a good idea to shrug off minor pain. Continuously monitor your symptoms for a few days after an incident to rule out any potential for whiplash.

What Causes Whiplash?

Any sudden movement of the head and neck can cause whiplash. While it most commonly happens during something like a car accident, in any other situation where the head is suddenly jerked backward and then forwards offers the potential for injury.

Age also plays a significant role in your risk of getting whiplash. Why? As you get older, the muscles in your neck are not as flexible or strong as they once were. When an incident happens, there’s an increased potential for injury.

Treatment for Whiplash

If you think that you may have whiplash, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. To confirm the diagnosis, you may need to get imaging tests, such as an MRI.

Treatment for whiplash often includes pain medication, physical therapy, and rest. Generally, your symptoms should start to subside within a few weeks. In some severe cases, surgery may be necessary for total improvement.

Whiplash Treatment in Fox Valley

At Fox Valley Orthopedics, we understand that pain from neck strain after an accident is always scary. Let our experts help you get the safe and effective pain relief you need to get back to living your best life. Please get in touch with us at (630) 584-1400 to schedule an appointment.