Cervical whiplash occurs when a person’s head moves backward and then moves forward suddenly under great force. This injury is most common after a rear-end car accident. It can also result from physical mistreatment, sports injuries, or amusement park ride accidents.
Causes of Cervical Whiplash
Cervical whiplash results when the smooth or soft tissues of your head and neck are suddenly extended beyond their normal range of motion. The causes of cervical whiplash may include:
- Automobile accidents.
- Physical mistreatment, such as being punched or shaken.
- Contact sports like football, boxing, and karate.
- Horseback riding accidents.
- Cycling accidents.
- Falls in which the head aggressively jerks backward.
- Blow to the head with a heavy object.
Symptoms of Cervical Whiplash
Symptoms of cervical whiplash usually start to appear within the first day following the accident. In some cases, symptoms manifest themselves after a few days; they can last for several weeks. Some common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Mild to severe neck pain and stiffness.
- Headaches, specifically at the base of the neck.
- Blurred vision.
- Constant exhaustion.
- Pain and discomfort spread to your shoulders or arms.
- Movement of the head is painful.
- Experience numbness or weakness in your arms.
- Recurring pain and stiffness in the neck.
- Severe neck pain.
- Pain, numbness, or tingling in your shoulders, arms, or legs.
- Any issues with your bladder or bowels.
- Localized weakness in an arm or leg.
Treatments for Cervical Whiplash
Most mild to moderate circumstances of cervical whiplash can be treated at home using over-the-counter medications, ice, and other therapies. However, it’s better to seek professional help.
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What Are the Symptoms of Severe Whiplash?
Some of the major symptoms associated with severe whiplash include:
- Sharp pain and stiffness in the neck region.
- Difficulty in moving your neck.
- Reduced range of motion in the neck.
- Pain around the shoulder region or while raising arms.
How Long Does Whiplash Take to Heal?
- The time of recovering from whiplash may differ from one person to another.
- But normally it takes a period of six weeks to recover from a whiplash injury.
What Is the Best Treatment for Whiplash?
- Your specialist may prescribe an OTC medication to relieve pain.
- You can also take personalized physical therapy sessions to treat your whiplash injury.
- In severe cases, surgical intervention may be required.
What Is the Fastest Way to Recover From Whiplash?
- In some cases, the whiplash injury may heal on its own.
- But to hasten the recovery rate, you may apply ice around the affected area and rest your neck.