Whiplash will knock you out!

By: Cole Monson

Car accident? Here’s a few facts on why you need to get checked by your physical therapist right away!

  • Pain. Whiplash injuries can manifest in a wide variety of ways, including neck pain, headaches, fatigue, upper back and shoulder pain, and lower back pain.
  • Headaches. After neck pain, headaches are the most frequent complaint among those with whiplash. It may be caused by injury to an upper cervical disc, facet joint or higher joints. These kinds of headaches can also make migraines worse and more prevalent.
  • Dizziness. Dizziness following a whiplash injury usually results from injury to the facet joints of the cervical spine, although in some cases injury to the brain or brain stem may be a factor as well.  Typically, this dizziness is temporary and can improve significantly with the right kind of treatment.
  • Brain Injury / Spinal Injury. Brain injury can be a worst case scenario after whiplash but may be more common than you’d think. Spinal nerves and the spinal cord can be compressed by a herniated disc or bone spur after whiplash. This usually causes arm pain, but there can also be neck pain.

How is Whiplash diagnosed? Your physical therapist will ask you about your symptoms and how the injury occurred, then perform a physical examination. Treatment will then be put in place for you. The sooner you get in to see your physical therapist, the sooner your symptoms will subside!