What is Whiplash?

When someone’s head moves back and then forward very fast, whiplash occurs. What happens is that the force exerted by that unexpected motion extends the ligaments and tissues in your neck beyond their natural range of motion, causing some damage as well as pain.

What Are Some Typical Causes of Whiplash?

One of the most common causes of whiplash is being involved in a car accident. When you are rear-ended, and the car suddenly stops, the inertia drives your head forward until the seatbelt or something else stops you, hyperextending your neck’s tissues.

At this point, the head moves backward, hyperextending your muscles and ligaments in the opposite direction. Though car accidents are perhaps the most common, there are many other ways whiplash can occur. Take, for example, receiving a blow to the face; your head will likely suffer the same range of motion.

Contact sports like martial arts or even football and hockey often experience accidents leading to whiplash. Any activity where you are moving fast, such as biking, horseback riding, or skating are commonly associated with whiplash as well.

Is pain holding you back?

Symptoms Associated with Whiplash

Stiffness of the neck coupled with pain, increasing pain when you try to move your neck, headaches originating at the base of your skull, shoulder pain, upper back pain, or tingling in the arms. Other less common symptoms can include having your vision blurred, problems with sleeping, irritability, and memory problems, and in some cases, even depression can occur.

Is There A Treatment?

While there is no silver bullet, usually a good rule of thumb is applying ice early. Over the counter pain meds like Tylenol may be used to manage the pain; if you are having muscle spasms, however, you may need something more substantial such as muscle relaxants, to be prescribed by your doctor.

Up until very recently, the recommended course of action after whiplash was to wear a collar for a few days, this would allow the ligaments and muscles in your neck some rest. Recently, however, the trend is to start early movement instead. Your physical therapist or chiropractic care professional will be able to determine the best course of action for your injury; as everyone is different, each injury should be treated as such.

Get Whiplash Treatments at Merge Physical Medicine

Physical Therapy Massages have been known to relieve the tension in neck muscles and can help alleviate the pain. Ensure your massage therapist is licensed to avoid further damage. Stimulation of the nerves with the use of a mild electrical current is also commonly used. It can lead to a faster recovery and better pain management; again, this should only be administered by a licensed and certified medical professional.

Most people do not develop any long-term complications due to whiplash. The average recovery time tends to take from several days to a few weeks depending on the severity of the case. Statistically, most people are expected to make a full recovery within a maximum window of three months.

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Dr. Peirsol is a Columbus, Ohio-born native, comes from a family of alumni of The Ohio State University, and as such, is a diehard Buckeye who moved to Dallas in 2007 to pursue her chiropractic career. She graduated from Parker University and has been in practice since 2011.
Dr. Peirsol has a sports medicine specialty and is trained to treat and diagnose conditions that arise from sports and physical activity in general. Doctors in sports medicine are usually called on to diagnose and treat conditions such as whiplash, shin splints, sprains, bone fractures, hip and knee pain, as well as joint and back pain and any other sports-related injury.
After eight years in an integrated setting, she has strengthened her keen focus that every patient receives a proper diagnosis. Treatment through diagnosis, imaging, history, interventional pain procedures, and other measures have been a part of her thorough and multifaceted approach to patient care. She has a history of collaborating with all specialties including pain management professionals, physical therapists, fellow chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons, spine and neurosurgeons, rheumatologists, endocrinologists, ENTs, and PCPs to name a few.
Dr. Peirsol prides herself on finding the right answer for your injury making sure she provides a personalized care plan tailored only to you and your injuries. She is known for her honesty, her loyalty, and for respecting one’s time, but these are just a few of the qualities that describe Dr. Peirsol.
Manipulation and soft tissue therapy including manual therapy, trigger point therapy, and active release therapy are just a few of the treatments Dr. Peirsol incorporates into her treatment plans. She uses the latest technology and is on top of the newest and most effective trends in medicine, allowing her to make the best decision every time, no matter the malady.
Below is just one of many glowing testimonials of Dr. Peirsol. To experience the same level of outstanding service, reach out to Merge Physical Medicine and learn what Dr. Peirsol and her team can do for you.

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