Whiplash is one of the most common injuries caused by a car accident. A form of neck sprain, whiplash occurs when the ligaments in your neck are stretched beyond their normal capacity. In more severe cases of whiplash, the ligament can be partially or completely torn. If you suspect whiplash, see a Dignity Health Southern California doctor as soon as possible.
To learn more about the symptoms of whiplash, use our online search tool to Find a Doctor. Our hospitals offer complete care to treat whiplash in Southern California.
Symptoms of Whiplash
The most common sign of whiplash is neck pain that gets worse when you move. It can begin right after the injury takes place or may develop gradually over several days.
Other whiplash symptoms include:
- Limited range of motion
- Neck stiffness
- Muscle spasms in your neck or shoulders
- Weakness, tingling, and numbness in arms and hands (in cases of spinal nerve damage)
If you have one or more of these symptoms, receive a diagnosis and personalized treatment from an orthopedic doctor at Dignity Health Southern California.
Causes of Whiplash
Whiplash is caused when the neck moves back and forth very fast. This rapid movement stretches the neck ligaments farther than they should go. The most common cause of whiplash is a rear-end motor vehicle accident. Other causes can include a sports-related injury and physical assault.
Treatment for Whiplash at Dignity Health Southern California
If you have been in serious accident or have an injury from another form of trauma, you should get emergency medical care as soon as possible. A doctor at Dignity Health Southern California can assess your condition and confirm whether or not you have other injuries.
Mild whiplash treatment may involve rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications. Your doctor may have you wear a soft neck collar to support your neck during the healing process.
More severe cases of whiplash may require physical therapy to learn range-of-motion exercises. These will help you strengthen and restore flexibility to your neck. Your doctor may also prescribe muscle relaxants.
Most people recover from whiplash in about three months. Your Dignity Health orthopedic care team is dedicated to helping you heal and regain mobility. Ask us about your treatment options today.
At Dignity Health, our orthopedic departments and outpatient care centers provide comprehensive treatment for whiplash in Southern California.