What to Do if You Think You Have Whiplash

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Are you suffering with neck pain, neck stiffness, or headaches? If your symptoms appeared after an accident, it could be whiplash — and you shouldn’t ignore it. Learn the telltale signs of whiplash and find out how to relieve your pain.

Whiplash is one of the most common neck injuries. It happens when your head snaps back and forth abruptly, straining the muscles of your neck.

Many people think of car accidents when they think of whiplash. And while it’s true that rear-end accidents are a common cause, you don’t have to be involved in a fender bender to suffer whiplash.

Any impact that forces your head back and forth can strain your neck and cause symptoms like neck pain, headaches, and blurred vision. Unfortunately, symptoms are often overlooked, and the longer whiplash goes untreated, the greater your risk of long-term compilations like chronic pain.

If you’ve noticed neck pain and stiffness, don’t ignore it. Dr. Maher Ibrahim and our team at Interventional Pain Management Associates specialize in whiplash treatment. Here’s what to do if you think you have whiplash.

Learn the telltale symptoms of whiplash

Neck pain is the most obvious symptom of whiplash. But if you suffer a neck injury, the pain isn’t always noticeable right away.

It’s not unusual for symptoms of whiplash to develop in the days following an injury. Common whiplash symptoms include:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Reduced neck mobility

More severe whiplash injuries can cause symptoms like:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability 
  • Tingling or numbness in your arms
  • Tinnitus (ringing in your ears)
  • Sleep disturbances

Pay close attention to how you feel in the days immediately after an injury like a car accident, blow to the head, or other sudden impact. If you notice any of the symptoms above, go to the doctor.

Go to the doctor after you have an accident

It’s easy to overlook the initial symptoms of whiplash, so it’s important to get checked out after you suffer an accident. Go to the doctor for a physical exam if you were in a car accident, you suffered a sports injury, or you were involved in any other type of impact — even if you feel fine right now.

Whiplash happens when the muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues in your neck get pulled too far out of their usual range. Symptoms can take a few days to develop, and your risk of whiplash injury increases as you get older.

Dr. Ibrahim and our team specialize in diagnosing and treating whiplash. We review your medical history and your current symptoms. Then, we do a complete physical exam and medical imaging, like X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Get whiplash treatment

If Dr. Ibrahim diagnoses you with whiplash, treatment can relieve your symptoms and help you avoid chronic neck pain. We customize your whiplash care plan based on the severity of your injury, your age, and your overall health.

Mild cases of whiplash generally resolve within about six weeks. We may prescribe pain medication to ease discomfort as you heal.

More severe cases of whiplash may benefit from advanced pain management care. We might have you wear a neck brace or collar for a few days. Other treatments can include pain injections, muscle relaxers, and physical therapy.

Think you might have whiplash? Seeking professional care is the best thing to do. Schedule an exam with Dr. Ibrahim and our team at Interventional Pain Management Associates at 609-757-9860 or contact us online now.