Unfortunately injuries to the neck or cervical spine are common in motor vehicle accidents. These injuries often occur from “whiplash,” or a sudden jerk to the head. Whiplash injuries typically occur in rear impact collisions.
However they can also occur in frontal impact as well as side impact collisions. During a whiplash injury, there is a sudden acceleration/ deceleration force that is caused by the neck being thrown violently backwards and then forwards. The motion is a lot like how a whip snaps.
Whiplash can seriously damage your soft tissue which includes the muscles, ligaments, and discs of the spine. It can also damage bones, including your vertebrae.
The symptoms that follow a whiplash may include: neck pain, headaches, stiffness in the neck and shoulders, shoulder pain, fatigue, dizziness, jaw pain, and/ or arm pain or weakness. These symptoms may start immediately following the trauma or, in many cases, start the following day and after the person comes down from the adrenalin rush of the accident. In some cases, these symptoms may not start up until a few weeks following the injury. The diagnosis of whiplash is based on the patient’s history, as well as symptoms and range of motion.
After an accident, an MRI of the neck may or may not be necessary.
The starting goal of treatment is to reduce pain and swelling as well as help maintain range of motion. If symptoms persist beyond two or three months, more aggressive therapy is necessary. At PDR Clinics, we utilize the MedX equipment to rebuild the injured muscles of the neck to obtain long-term results. We test an individual’s neck to determine if there is soft tissue injury and to what extent. The test results help steer us towards providing the appropriate therapy to better the chances of recovery.