Whiplash Treatment in Austin: What is It?
December 20, 2021
Whiplash is an injury that’s caused when the neck muscles rapidly move backward and then forward, suddenly and with great force. Often the result of rear-end collisions, sports injuries, and physical abuse, it’s a relatively mild (and frequently treated) condition, but still one that can cause a great deal of discomfort nonetheless.
In this informative post, follow along as we explain what whiplash is and how it occurs. Then find out how to tell if you need to see a professional neck pain doctor to treat your whiplash symptoms.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is technically defined as any soft-tissue injury that’s caused by rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. Typically caused by sports injuries, falls, and auto accidents, whiplash results in a wide-variety of symptoms, including:
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Dizziness or muscle fatigue
- Numbness or pain in the arms or hands
- Headaches, starting at the base of the skull
- Blurred vision
- Sleep disturbances due to pain
- Ringing in the ears
What Causes Whiplash?
As mentioned, whiplash occurs following an event that causes the head to be forcibly thrown backward and then forward. This can injure the bones in the spine, as well as the disks between those bones, and the muscles, ligaments, and nerves of the neck. Whiplash injuries occur as a result of contact-sports (such as football tackles), car-accidents (especially rear-end collisions), and, unfortunately, physical abuse (such as when punched or shaken).
How To Tell If You Need Treatment For Whiplash
You should see a neck pain doctor as soon as possible if you have any neck pain or other whiplash symptoms after a car accident, sports injury or other traumatic injury. It's important to get an accurate diagnosis, and to get treatment for any debilitating injuries (such as broken bones) that, left untreated, could only make the pain worse.
Whiplash Treatment in Austin: What to Expect
Whiplash treatment is relatively straightforward. Often, your neck pain doctor will prescribe over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol or Aspirin, as well as a therapy program custom-made for you. This will include simple exercises to build back the strength and flexibility of your neck, as well as techniques for gently stretching your neck (to keep them from straining). They might also repeatedly encourage you to maintain a good posture (to keep your shoulders relaxed) to prevent further damage and to aid in recovery.
Your pain doctor may also prescribe either steroid injections or trigger point injections to further help manage your pain, as well. These medications can provide enough relief for you to begin healing your soft tissues via another form of treatment. Generally, pain doctors will either prescribe an epidural steroid injection--which sends steroids (strong anti-inflammatory agents themselves) to the nerve root that’s inflamed.
In more extreme cases of whiplash, trigger point injections may be encouraged. Trigger points are knots of muscle under the skin that form when muscles tighten up. Trigger point injections release painkillers, often in combination with a corticosteroid, to reduce inflammation at the source.
Whiplash Treatment in Austin: When Will I Recover?
Most patients recover from whiplash following a treatment plan that includes medication and exercise. With treatment, you should feel better within a few weeks. However, you may continue to have pain for several months depending on the severity of your injury or your age.
Get Professional Whiplash Treatment in Austin Today
Are you experiencing any of the symptoms of whiplash? Contact the professional neck pain doctors at Greater Austin Pain Center today.
Our neck pain doctors will be able to diagnose the problem and help with any debilitating injuries that may have occurred as a result. We can also provide prescription pain killers or muscle relaxants to treat severe pain and to reduce muscle spasms, as well as suggest alternative remedies (such as chiropractic care or massage) to further aid in recovery.