Also called cervical acceleration/deceleration syndrome (CAD), whiplash is an injury to the upper area of the spine (the cervical spine) that occurs when the head and neck are snapped back and forth suddenly, forcing the neck to extend past its normal range of motion. The abrupt motion can cause injury to the bones and nerves of the neck as well as the soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments and tendons. Whiplash commonly occurs during car accidents, but it can also occur from a slip and fall accident, a sport-related accident and other accidents.
Whiplash can cause immediate symptoms as well as symptoms that don't show up for days after the injury occurred. The most common symptoms include:
neck stiffness and diminished range of motion
problems chewing and swallowing
burning or prickling sensations in the neck, shoulder or upper back
pain in the shoulder or upper back
Stress following an accident can often exacerbate these symptoms.
The treatment for whiplash depends to some extent on the tissues – joints, nerves, muscles or a combination – that are involved in the injury. Many symptoms occur when tissues become inflamed following an accident, compressing nerves and resulting in pain and irritation. Wearing a soft cervical collar can help by immobilizing the neck to avoid additional irritation while the tissues heal. Oral medications, physical therapy and nerve blocks can also help relieve symptoms and promote healing. Dr. Miller may order an x-ray or other diagnostic imaging test to determine the extent of the injury so he can provide you with the most appropriate and effective care aimed at relieving your specific symptoms.
We accept most major PPO insurance plans, Medicare, and Personal Injury and Worker's Compensation plans. If you have any questions, please call our office.
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