Neck Pain Months After Whiplash: What Are My Options?

Jul 03, 2023
Neck Pain Months After Whiplash: What Are My Options?
Are you struggling with neck pain months after experiencing whiplash? Get back to living your life without discomfort. Learn about the options available to you for long-term neck pain management.

Getting into a car accident is jarring. Sometimes the impact of colliding with another car causes your neck to suddenly jerk back and forth violently, known as whiplash. 

While a car accident is the most common cause of whiplash, it can also result from sports accidents, especially contact sports like football. 

In the immediate aftermath, you might feel a range of symptoms, notably pain. What do you do if your neck pain either persists for months or doesn’t develop until months later? 

Thankfully, Dr. Stepan Kasimian and his team at HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics in Glendale, Santa Ana, and Upland, California, have a wealth of expertise in managing neck pain. 

Take a moment as Dr. Kasimian explains the complexities of chronic neck pain following a whiplash injury and discusses the various options for relief. 

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury to the neck caused by a forceful back-and-forth movement. The sudden motion, like the cracking of a whip, can strain muscles, ligaments, and tendons, sometimes even damaging spinal discs. 

While some people recover within a few weeks, others might find their pain persisting for months or even longer. This long-lasting pain is known as chronic whiplash syndrome. In still other cases, whiplash symptoms might not develop for months after the accident, known as late whiplash syndrome.

Common symptoms of whiplash 

If you're experiencing neck pain months after whiplash, it's essential to recognize the common symptoms. These might include:

  • Persistent neck pain and stiffness
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Headaches originating from the base of the skull
  • Tenderness or pain in shoulders, upper back, or arms
  • Fatigue or dizziness

The ongoing pain could be due to various factors, such as disc herniation, facet joint injuries, and muscular or ligament strains that haven’t healed properly. Psychological symptoms such as depression or anxiety can also amplify your perception of pain.

What are your treatment options?

Before considering surgery, you should explore noninvasive options for neck pain relief.

Physical therapy

Tailored exercises can improve strength and flexibility in your neck and shoulders.


We may prescribe pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, or muscle relaxants to alleviate your pain.

Heat and cold therapy

Using heat pads or ice packs can help manage pain and reduce inflammation.

If noninvasive treatments don’t provide relief, Dr. Kasimian might recommend more invasive options, such as:

Epidural injections

Steroid injections into the spine can reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

Facet joint injections

Injecting medication into your facet joints can provide pain relief.


In rare cases, surgery might be required to treat disc or facet joint issues.

It's crucial to consult Dr. Kasimian if your neck pain persists for more than a few months, is severe or worsening, or is accompanied by numbness, weakness, or tingling in the arms.

Living with neck pain months after whiplash can be debilitating, but you don't have to suffer in silence. From physical therapy to medication and, in some cases, surgery, you have options to alleviate your discomfort. 

Being proactive in seeking help is crucial. For exceptional care, turn to HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics. Your well-being is our top priority, and we’re committed to helping you reclaim the quality of life you deserve. Request an appointment online or call us at 818-500-9286 today.