What is whiplash? | Dr. Andrew Cash, MD Las Vegas, Nevada
Whiplash is a well-known injury. It is usually most common when referring to rear-end car accidents. Whiplash occurs when a person’s neck is jerked or jolted – usually when the person is in a sitting position not moving, and there is an impact from behind.
What are the causes?
It can cause severe pain, limited mobility, and sometimes, partial disability. It can also cause:
How is it diagnosed?
After a car accident, a doctor will likely examine the patient’s neck closely to make sure there are no injuries present. If whiplash is suspected, the doctor may order an x-ray. To keep the neck from being injured further, patients may need to wear a soft cervical collar for a short time. Immobilizing the neck for extended periods of time is actually more harmful than it is helpful, as diminished motion can cause stiffness and even greater pain. So, as time goes on, small mobilization exercises are helpful in getting the neck back in proper working order. Physical or occupational therapy can help greatly to strengthen the neck muscles and initiate healing.
Whiplash many times cannot be avoided in the event of a car accident. But if you’re traveling in the car, wearing your seatbelt can help confine your neck and body more than if you were not wearing one. In addition, air bags can help protect drivers and passengers from greater neck injury.
For more information on whiplash, or to get help in healing whiplash, contact Dr. Cash at www.disclv.com.