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Whiplash Symptoms

Whiplash--the sudden back-and-forth movement of the neck--may result in a variety of symptoms. Neck pain and stiffness are the most common complaints following a whiplash injury. The muscles of the neck respond to the sudden stress by tightening, and the tightening causes pain. The injuries to the ligaments and muscles may take weeks to completely heal.

Other symptoms of whiplash include headaches, dizziness, shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears. The outcome may not be fully known until symptoms appear days or weeks following the injury. Abnormal sensations such as burning or numbness in the hand or arm should be evaluated for cervical nerve damage.

Finding Relief from Whiplash Symptoms
Intermittent symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbances, irritability, and fatigue may arise. If any of these symptoms appear following a whiplash injury, a full evaluation of the neck is indicated. This will require tests such as an MRI or CT scan to determine injury to the muscle tissue or the intervertebral disc space. In some cases, it may be necessary to do a thorough head exam to determine if there is damage or swelling in the brain.

Most usually, whiplash symptoms respond to conservative measures within about six weeks. If symptoms persist, treatment may require surgical intervention if the intervertebral disc is involved. At The Bonati Institute, endoscopic and arthroscopic laser surgery is available and performed on an outpatient basis. The recovery time is much shorter than that required for traditional open procedures with general anesthesia. The Bonati Institute has the latest in diagnostic technology, surgery equipment, and rehabilitation assistance.

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