What is Whiplash?

You may have heard of whiplash being a common cause of neck injury, but what exactly is it? Dr. Kevin McIntyre of Burlington Sports Therapy helps describe whiplash and some of the symptoms that come along with it. Here is an excerpt:

“Whiplash is a common injury affecting people involved in a car accident. In fact, whiplash is the most common traffic injury affecting approximately 83% of those people involved in a motor vehicle accident. For some, the condition resolves quickly. For others (10% according to the literature), whiplash can turn into chronic neck pain. According to some literature, some risk factors for developing chronic neck pain after whiplash have been identified. They are as follows…”

Check out the full article and learn more about whiplash. It’s important to see your doctor if you are experiencing neck pain or soreness, especially after a traumatic injury. If you’ve been diagnosed with whiplash, your doctor may recommend a cervical collar to help provide support to the neck and to help the area heal.

When to Use a Neck Brace

Neck braces, also known as cervical collars, are used to immobilize the head and neck. Typically they are used in three situations:

  • To Relieve Pain – The neck brace helps support the weight of the head while the tissues in the neck have a chance to recover.
  • After Neck Surgery – A cervical collar keeps the spinal bones aligned correctly while the neck heals.
  • After an Accident – If a patient injures his or her neck, a medical professional may use a neck collar to prevent any further injury.

Cervical neck collars are commonly used for neck injuries, such as whiplash. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury to the neck, and is also known as a neck sprain. It’s often a result of car accidents where the head is thrown forward suddenly, straining the muscles in the neck. After serious car accidents, victims are often placed in a neck collar for precautionary measures. If you experience head or neck pain, check with your doctor to determine the source of your symptoms before using a neck brace.

Herniated Disk Injury and Prevention

Herniated disk, also known as slipped disk, occurs when all or part of a disk in the spine presses against nearby nerves. This can cause tingling, aches, and severe pain. Herniated disk injuries are one of the most common problems that 30-year old people have. In fact, according to the Indiana Spine Group, almost 250,000 herniated disks are repaired each year.

Most herniated disks occur in the back. Wearing a back brace for herniated disk can help prevent injury by providing compression and stability. Sometimes herniated disks can occur in the neck, such as in Colts quarterback Payton Manning. Typically after a herniated disk injury in the neck, patients will wear a cervical collar to stabilize the area while it heals.

In addition to wearing a back brace, practice proper lifting techniques at work and at home. You can also ask your doctor for ways to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles.