Whiplash can occur in an instant with a fender bender or any jarring event that causes rapid extension of the neck, but the effects can last for years. Your neck may be stiff and sore for a few days after the incident, but just because that pain goes away does not mean your problems are over. Whiplash effects can cause pain, illness, or debilitating conditions affecting the entire body several weeks, months or even years later.
Whiplash can be caused by car accidents, or by anything that induces forceful, back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash can also occur from sports accidents, falls, and physical abuse, causing a strain to the neck. Whiplash can injure bones in the spine, disks between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and other tissues in the neck. Most people recover within weeks with exercise and pain medication; however, some people will have long lasting complications. The complications become even more detrimental with continued opioid use to attempt to mask the pain.
Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Increased pain with neck movement
- Reduced range of motion in the neck
- Headaches (generating at the base of the neck)
- Pain and tenderness in the shoulder, arms, and upper back
- Numbness and tingling in the arms
- Blurred vision
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Memory problems
Some people will have longer lasting complications and chronic pain. Some predictors that make it more likely for someone to have chronic pain for months or even years after a whiplash incident include:
- Initial symptoms intense, started rapidly
- Severe neck pain
- More-limited range of motion
- Pain spreading to the arms
- Previous whiplash incident
- Advanced age
- Pre-existing lower back or neck pain
- Injury occurred at high speed
Pain Stop Clinics want to help you deal with the long-term effects of whiplash. Our pain management doctors want to help you to control your pain, restore normal range of motion in your neck, and get back to your normal activities. With interventional pain management it is possible to achieve pain relief without opioids. Contact us today to treat the long-term effects of your whiplash.