Whiplash is the common term for a neck sprain or strain caused by a quick back and forth movement of the neck. It affects about 3 million people in the United States each year. Whiplash typically occurs during car accidents but can happen during any event where the head is jerked forward and backward like sports injuries. The injury occurs when the spinal discs, ligaments, or muscles that hold the neck together are torn or damaged. Symptoms of whiplash may present themselves immediately after the trauma or up to 24 hours later.
The effects of whiplash can endure for months or even years if left untreated. Since symptoms take time to develop, it is important to see your doctor right away if you have experienced trauma to the neck, even if you do not have immediate pain.
Common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain
- Limited range of motion in the neck
- Pain in the shoulders
- Numbness in the hands or arms
Any physically traumatic event can lead to whiplash. Common causes include:
- Car accidents
- Sudden falls
- Sports injuries
Whiplash symptoms may not present themselves until 24 hours after the injury occurs. If you have experienced whiplash, don’t wait until symptoms arise. Call Brain2Spine Institute today at (727) 351-6902.