Clearwater Whiplash Injury Doctor

Whiplash is one of the more common effects of a motor vehicle accident. Most people recover from this neck injury within a few months, but for some victims, the pain becomes chronic. If you have been in an auto accident, visit a Clearwater whiplash injury doctor as soon as possible.

It is important not only for your own health, but also if you plan to file a claim with your insurance company. Your insurer wants proof that the injury occurred because of the accident, not from another event several days later. Contacting an experienced injury doctor is an essential step in your recovery and any potential case you may file.

Whiplash

To understand whiplash, think of the cracking of a whip. Then visualize the head and neck going through a similar fast, violent back and forth movement. That is how whiplash, which is not a technical term, got its name. Medically, it is known as neck strain or sprain.

Although whiplash most often affects the driver or passengers of a rear-ended vehicle, that is not the only cause of this sudden motion. Sports injuries, fighting or punching, and even rollercoaster rides can result in whiplash. Any of these movements can cause intense flexing and extension of the neck.

Whiplash Symptoms

Neck pain and accompanying mobility issues are the primary whiplash symptoms, but far from the only ones. Some whiplash patients experience mild discomfort and just some limitation of mobility, while others suffer severe pain and serious lack of ability to move the neck without great stress. Other common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Jaw pain
  • Numbness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Tingling, or “pins and needles”
  • Insomnia
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability

Whiplash may affect the upper and lower back as well as the arms, shoulder and chest area. The more severe the symptoms, the more likely whiplash pain will linger beyond a few weeks or months.

Whiplash Risk Factors

While anyone may develop whiplash, some people are more likely to suffer from it than others. Women and younger people are at greater risk of whiplash than older males, as are people who do a lot of repetitive, monotonous work.

The latter predisposes individuals to muscle tightness in general, making them more vulnerable when an accident occurs.  A previous history of neck pain or injury also makes whiplash more likely to happen given certain circumstances.

How a Clearwater Whiplash Injury Doctor Can Help

After a thorough examination and detailed history of the accident, a Clearwater whiplash injury doctor will devise a physical therapy program for their whiplash patient. Following this program is crucial for regaining mobility in the neck.

Most patients do well with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS). The doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants for some patients. A regular regimen of hot compresses and/or icing may help relieve soreness.

If the patient does not significantly improve after a few months, further evaluation is necessary. The doctor may recommend long-term steroid injections in the neck for pain relief. In some cases, minimally invasive surgery is needed. If you suffer a whiplash type of injury, or have been involved in a car accident, call a Clearwater whiplash injury doctor today and schedule an examination.