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?
Take a moment as Dr. Kasimian explains the complexities of chronic neck pain following a whiplash injury and discusses the various options for relief.
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.
If you're experiencing neck pain months after whiplash, it's essential to recognize the common symptoms. These might include:
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.
Before considering surgery, you should explore noninvasive options for neck pain relief.
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.
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:
Steroid injections into the spine can reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
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.