When Should you Seek Treatment for Whiplash

Almost everyone knows someone who has been in a car accident, or you yourself have been in one. One of the most typical injuries from this type of incident is called, whiplash. While some discomfort resulting from whiplash is normal and will pass with time, an orthopaedic surgeon should be seen if it is a more serious case.

What is Whiplash?

During an auto accident, the impact will often shake your head forward and back. The motion and force of this stretches and pulls the ligaments, muscles, and tendons in the neck. The result is pain, stiffness, and swelling. While most cases are minor, there is the potential for permanent joint, disc, and tissue damage so it is important to pay attention to your symptoms. If you experience any of the following problems, consult an orthopaedic surgeon immediately.

More than Pain


Neck pain after a car accident or contact sport collision is to be expected. However, neck pain that radiates into your arms or back is a serious problem. If at any time you lose feeling in your arms or fingers, or feel a tingling or burning sensation in those extremities, you may have nerve damage or a disc in your spinal column that is out of place and putting pressure on your nerve bundles.


An impact that can cause whiplash has also been known to cause concussions. When the pain in your neck isn’t isolated to sore muscles, or you become dizzy, confused, sleepy, or suffer a loss of consciousness you may have a concussion. This is a dangerous condition, as the brain may be damaged, experience swelling, or be vulnerable to permanent problems.

Any time you are in an accident bad enough to cause whiplash, it’s a good idea to speak with a doctor or orthopaedic surgeon to rule out the potential for related issues.

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