If you have been on the business end of the flicking of a wet towel, you know how painful that can be. When that same motion occurs with your head and neck, you may not feel the pain immediately. In fact, sometimes the pain from whiplash may take a day or more to present. This type of trauma can be mild or severe. It occurs most often with rear-end auto accidents, but it can happen with any type of action that causes a rapid back and forth movement of the head and neck. Additionally, pain from whiplash may last from a few days to a few weeks. In some instances, with severe trauma, it can become a chronic condition. When it is chronic, it is often accompanied by other long-term complications.
Additional Causes of Whiplash
Besides car accidents, whiplash can also be caused by these actions:
- Horseback riding
- Bicycle accidents
- Trauma to the head
- A fall that causes a snap motion to the head
- Football, boxing, karate and other contact sports
- Physical abuse that involved punching or shaking
Some individuals only experience one or two symptoms from a whiplash injury. Others may experience several. They include:
- Headaches at the base of the skull
- Increased pain with neck movement
- Limited range of neck motion
- Stiffness and neck pain
- Tenderness or pain in the shoulders, upper back or arms
- Tingling in the arms
In general, symptoms may develop within the first 24 hours after the injury. Some individuals may not experience symptoms until much later. For this reason, it is always best to have a doctor check for whiplash as soon as possible after an injury. Early intervention can prevent the development of complications.
In addition to over extension of the ligaments and muscles of the neck, this type of injury can also impact the cervical vertebrae as well as the spinal discs, nerves and soft tissues in the area. Severe whiplash can also cause concussion as the brain slams against the skull.
You can depend Dr. Hanowell and his team at Hanowell Spine Clinic to accurately diagnose and treat your injury. We are known for our excellence in care for spinal injuries and disorders. Schedule your appointment with us to find fast relief from your discomfort.