Pain in the Neck?: 6 Signs You Need to See a Whiplash Injury Doctor

If you recently experienced a minor car accident, there’s a good chance you suffer from whiplash.

This is a type of soft-tissue injury that tears your muscles, ligaments, and tendons within your neck. If you’re suffering from neck pain after an accident, you need to see a whiplash injury doctor right away.

This injury needs immediate treatment to heal your neck muscles and avoid permanent damage.

Do you suffer from whiplash? Keep reading to learn the six most common whiplash symptoms.

Common Whiplash Symptoms

Common whiplash symptoms are a pain in the neck. Neck pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of whiplash injuries, caused by sudden and forceful forward and backward movement of the neck. Other symptoms of whiplash may include fatigue, difficulty sleeping, headaches, dizziness, and reduced range of motion in the neck.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek the help of a whiplash injury doctor. Here are some signs that indicate that you might need to visit a whiplash injury doctor:

1. Excessive Fatigue After the Accident

If a person starts to experience excessive fatigue after a car accident, it could be a sign of a whiplash injury. Whiplash is an injury to the neck and back that is caused by a sudden, jerking motion of the head. This can cause mild to severe pain and stiffness in the neck, as well as other parts of the body.

Due to the strain on muscles and ligaments of the neck and spine, patients may experience extreme fatigue in their bodies. If a person notices an increase in fatigue after a car accident beyond what would be expected, it is important to seek medical attention. 

2. Persistent Neck Pain

Persistent neck pain is generally the primary symptom of whiplash and can remain for weeks or months following the initial injury. It may manifest as an overall dull ache, intense pain, or shooting sensations.

It may be felt at the point of the injury but can spread to other areas, including the shoulders and upper back. People may also experience increased discomfort when engaging in activities that require movement of the head and neck. 

3. Difficulty Carrying Out Daily Activities

Whiplash injuries can cause a wide range of problems that can make it difficult to carry out daily activities. Whiplash signs can also cause dizziness, fatigue, tingling, and numbness in the arms and hands.

Cognitive difficulties, such as memory and concentration problems, can also occur. Most of these symptoms can limit a person’s ability to perform daily tasks. Treatment of whiplash injuries often includes rest, ice and/or heat therapy, and physical therapy.

4. Tenderness or Soreness in the Cervical Spine Area

People who suffer from whiplash injuries can experience pain, tenderness, and soreness in the cervical spine area. This is caused by the sudden jerking of the neck. It can lead to overextension of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments located in the neck area.

The pain is usually experienced at the base of the skull and radiates downwards into the upper shoulders and upper back. Depending on the severity of the whiplash injury, the person may also have numbness or tingling in the arms and hands. 

5. Limited Movement of the Neck

Limited neck movement is usually due to the neck muscles that have been damaged in the whiplash injury. These muscles become weak and are unable to move as they did pre-injury. The lack of movement reduces the range of motion of the neck and can be quite painful.

Limited movement of the neck can often be associated with a decrease in neck strength and limited ability to tilt, turn, or bend the neck. For whiplash-injured individuals, the return to full neck mobility is usually a slow progression and may take weeks or even months. 

6. Headaches or Blurred Vision

A headache from a whiplash injury often involves the head, neck, and sometimes even the temples. Headaches that come from a whiplash injury are often a continually recurrent problem experienced after the initial injury until the neck and spine have had an opportunity to heal.

Blurred vision is another common symptom of whiplash injuries. This is often accompanied by nausea and/or a dizzy feeling when trying to look at something from different angles. 

Different Types of Treatments

A doctor can use physical manipulation to manually move the neck in order to promote healing. Pain relief medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, soft collar braces, and a neck traction device can provide symptomatic relief. 

It’s essential to rest the neck to allow the damaged tissues to heal. Avoiding strenuous activities and movements that worsen the pain is recommended. It’s also important not to remain completely immobile, as some gentle movement can help prevent stiffness.

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage mild to moderate pain. In more severe cases, a healthcare professional may prescribe stronger pain medications or muscle relaxants to alleviate discomfort.

Applying ice packs to the neck in the first 24-48 hours after the injury can help reduce inflammation and pain. After the initial phase, heat therapy can help relax muscles and promote blood flow.

A physical therapist can design a tailored exercise program to strengthen the neck muscles, improve range of motion, and enhance flexibility. They may also use techniques like massage and manual therapy to alleviate pain and stiffness.

A soft neck brace or collar may be prescribed to provide support and limit neck movement during the early stages of recovery. Prolonged use of neck braces is generally discouraged, as it can lead to muscle weakening and delayed recovery.

When to Seek Legal Advise for Whiplash Injuries

It’s important to seek legal advice if you have suffered a whiplash injury due to a car accident injury. It ensures you receive compensation for any expenses related to your injury, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You can also have a look here if you want to learn more about the average payouts included when you suffered an auto injury or rear-end collision injury. 

Schedule an Appointment With a Whiplash Injury Doctor Today!

See a whiplash injury doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of these six symptoms of whiplash. Ignoring the signs may lead to long-term discomfort and pain. Visit an experienced and trusted whiplash injury doctor to ensure you heal correctly and quickly. 

Don’t wait: schedule an appointment with a whiplash injury doctor to get the help you need!

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