- Whiplash is a neck injury often caused by car accidents, leading to symptoms like neck pain, stiffness, numbness in hands, shoulder pain, difficulty concentrating, sleep issues, and irritability.
- The symptoms of whiplash usually appear gradually in the days following the injury and can indicate damage to the spine’s vertebrae, discs, muscles, ligaments, and nerve roots.
- Ignoring these symptoms can lead to serious complications, hence, it's crucial to seek immediate medical attention.
- Urgent care centers are recommended for a thorough check-up after a trauma, as they can conduct MRI or CT scans to accurately diagnose the injury.
- Based on the diagnosis, the urgent care physician can suggest appropriate medications, exercises, and other treatments to manage the pain and promote recovery.
Chances are you’ve heard the term whiplash before – but what does it actually mean? Whiplash is a strain or sprain in the neck that happens suddenly when the head jerks forward or backward. What most people think of when they hear the word whiplash is a car accident, since this is one of the most common causes of this injury.
Symptoms of whiplash tend to come on slowly the first few days after the injury occurs. Some tell-tale signs of whiplash include:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness or limited range of motion in the neck
- Numbness or tingling in the hands
- Pain in the shoulders and shoulder blades
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
Because the spine’s vertebrae, discs, muscles, ligaments, and nerve roots can become damaged because of whiplash, this injury is nothing to take lightly. If you just experienced a trauma and are showing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s a good idea to get yourself checked out at an urgent care. Urgent care is a great and convenient first step to determine the best course of action. You may need to get an MRI or CT scan to pinpoint exactly which part of the neck has been damaged by whiplash. After the extent of your injury has been determined, your urgent care physician will recommend medications, exercises, and other treatments to help manage your pain.
Frequently asked questions
What is whiplash and what causes it?Whiplash is a neck injury often caused by sudden strain or sprain, usually resulting from car accidents.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, numbness in hands, shoulder pain, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, sleep issues, and irritability.
Why is it important not to ignore the symptoms of whiplash?It's important not to ignore these symptoms as they can indicate damage to the spine’s vertebrae, discs, muscles, ligaments, and nerve roots, leading to serious complications.
What should one do after experiencing a trauma that could cause whiplash?After experiencing such a trauma, it's recommended to visit an urgent care center for a thorough check-up.
How do urgent care centers diagnose whiplash?Urgent care centers can conduct MRI or CT scans to determine the exact area of the neck affected by whiplash.
What are the possible treatments for whiplash?Based on the diagnosis, the urgent care physician can recommend medications, exercises, and other treatments to manage the pain and promote recovery.