Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

If someone gets whiplash, how do you know if you should see a doctor or if it will go away on its own?

Answer:

The best rule of thumb when it comes down to seeing a doctor is if you are worried or concerned, you should get it checked.

Whiplash, however, doesn't always require medical care, particularly if it is a mild case. Although being checked whenever the possibility of whiplash is not a bad idea, you really should see a doctor if you experience any of these signs or symptoms:

1 - The pain goes away and then returns.

2 - The pain gets worse instead of better.

3 - The pain spreads to your shoulders and/or upper arms.

4 - You get dizzy or you get pain in your head when you move your head.

5 - Your arms become weak or numb. Clara Braker, MD, et al. The Analgesic Effect of Botulinum-toxin A on Postwhiplash Neck Pain. In Clinical Journal of Pain. January 2008. Vol. 24. No. 1. Pp. 5-10.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Medical Multimedia Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Medical Multimedia Group, LLC and used herein by permission.

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