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Whiplash Treatment Orange County

Trust Our Neck Doctors To Relieve Your Neck Pain

The most common cause of whiplash is being struck from behind in a rear-end car accident, but it can also result from contact sports collisions, domestic violence or assault, and other injuries such as a bad fall. While most people heal from whiplash after a few weeks of following their doctor’s treatment plan, including pain medication and exercise, others face chronic neck pain and lifelong consequences.

Overall, whiplash injuries vary significantly in the extent and type of injuries sustained. However, common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Discomfort that intensifies when turning the head side to side
  • Headaches starting at the base of the skull
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms, shoulder, or upper/lower back pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus (ringing of the ear)
  • Double/blurred vision
  • Moodiness, including irritability and depression
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sleep disturbances

How Is Whiplash Diagnosed?

While your doctor checks your medical history and performs a physical exam, they will ask what you have been through that might be causing your whiplash symptoms. Your exam will include the doctor touching and moving your head, neck, and arm, and checking your overall range of motion. While you are moving, your doctor will ask if you feel any increase in pain from particular movements. Your doctor will also check your reflexes, grip strength, and sensation in your extremities.

Whiplash injuries typically don’t require any imaging tests to diagnose, but your doctor may still order an X-ray, CT, or MRI scan to detect other soft tissue injuries that may be aggravating your whiplash.

Whiplash Treatment

The goal of treating whiplash is to control pain, restore your normal neck range of motion, and get you back to your daily activities as soon as safely possible. Your treatment is entirely dependent on the extent of your whiplash injury, as well as any other injuries you may have sustained.

Pain Management for Whiplash

Your orthopedist may recommend one or more of the following treatments to control the pain:

  • Rest for a day or 2 after you sustained your injury.
  • Apply hot or cold compresses to the neck for 15 minutes every 3 hours to help alleviate discomfort
  • Over-the-counter medications to control mild to moderate pain.
  • Muscle relaxant medication in the short-term can loosen your tight muscles and soothe pain
  • An injection of lidocaine (numbing agent) may be used to decrease pain in specific muscles so that you can do physical therapy

Be aware that muscle relaxants can also make you feel sleepy, which is useful to help you get a good night’s rest after what may have been a traumatic injury, but be careful not to operate heavy machinery or drive a vehicle.

Treatments vary for whiplash injuries depending on your symptoms. Contact Hoag Orthopedic Institute today at (949) 705-6493 to get started on the right treatment plan.

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