Car accidents aren't the only cause of whiplash. In fact, any activity that "whips" your neck back and forth could cause the injury. Fortunately, the orthopaedics physicians at Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, Dr. Jeffrey Chase and Dr. Ahmet Sayan, provide treatments that relieve whiplash symptoms.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is likely to occur due to sudden movement of your neck forward and backward. The motion strains your neck injuring muscles, tendons, discs, or nerves in your neck. In addition to car accidents, whiplash can be caused by riding jerky amusement park rides or playing sports. It might also happen if someone hits or shakes you.
What are whiplash symptoms?
Whiplash symptoms don't always start right after an injury. In fact, you may not notice any symptoms for several hours to as long as a day after you hurt your neck. If you have whiplash, your neck may become stiff, which can make turning it painful. Other whiplash symptoms may include:
- Blurry vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty sleeping
- Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
- Muscle spasms
- Back pain
- Pain and numbness in your arm and hand
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory issues
How is whiplash treated?
Ice can help relieve pain and inflammation caused by whiplash if applied during the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, heat may be more helpful. Over-the-counter medications that decrease both pain and inflammation like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can make it easier to manage your symptoms. Muscle relaxants may be prescribed to reduce muscle tension and spasms.
In the past, people who developed whiplash were given cervical collars to reduce neck movement. Today, doctors recommend gentle exercises or physical therapy to promote healing and reduce stiffness. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend ultrasound therapy, corticosteroid injections, or massage during your visit to the St. Thomas, or St. Croix, orthopaedics office.
Could your neck pain be a symptom of whiplash? Contact your St. Thomas, and St. Croix, doctors at Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists to schedule your appointment. You can reach Dr. Chase and Dr. Sayan by calling us at (340) 714-2845 for St. Thomas, office and at (340) 692-5000 for the St. Croix, office.