Chesapeake Physical and Aquatic Therapy
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Neck Injuries - Whiplash
neck injuries whiplashWhat is it?
neck injuries whiplashWhiplash, also known as a neck sprain or strain, is commonly suffered during an automobile collision. It is a soft tissue injury to the neck characterized by an assortment of symptoms following injury to the neck, usually because of violent back and forth movement of the head during a collision. This injury may include damage to inter- vertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots.

How is it diagnosed?
Whiplash cannot be seen from the results of MRIs, CT Scans, or X-rays. However, fractures of the spine can be seen on X-ray films. An accurate description of symptoms as well as a medical history can help your physician determine if you are suffering from whiplash.

What are the symptoms?
The more commons signs of whiplash include muscle tightness or tenderness in the neck and upper back, stiffness in the neck, dizziness, nausea, and shoulder or arm pain. These symptoms sometimes present immediately after injury or slowly develop over a few days. Some of the more severe symptoms include an inability to move the neck, difficulty swallowing, frequent headaches, compromised vision, and balance difficulty.

How is it treated?
Whiplash patients are can immediately be treated temporarily with a soft cervical collar. A physician may also recommend anti-inflammatory medication as well as physical therapy to help relieve the symptoms of whiplash. Your therapist may use methods such as manual therapy, symptom-specific modalities, and therapeutic exercises to treat you.

If you have any further questions, please follow up with your local physical therapist or click here to contact us.
By Jared Goldstein
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