Whiplash

Friday, July 13, 2012

An estimated 3 million whiplash injuries occur in the United States every year, most being the result of motor vehicle accidents or collisions involving contact sports. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this type of injury in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Whiplash is a sudden strain affecting the bones, discs, muscles, nerves or tendons of the neck. When unexpected force jerks the head back, then forward the bones of the neck snap out of position and irritated nerves can interfere with the flow of blood and transmission of nerve impulses. These pinched nerves can damage or destroy the function of body parts.

Symptoms of whiplash may appear right away. In other cases, they may not develop until weeks or months after an injury occurs. Symptoms may include:

Pain or stiffness in the neck, jaw, shoulders or arms

Dizziness

Headache

Loss of feeling in an arm or hand, and

Nausea and vomiting

Whiplash is difficult to diagnose because X-rays and other imaging studies do not always at first reveal changes in bone structure.

A patient whose symptoms are severe may wear a neck collar until the pain diminishes. With medication, physical therapy and supportive measures, whiplash can usually be cured in one week to three months after injury occurs.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.