Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

What should I do if I think I have whiplash?

Answer:

Following a car accident or some other injury that could cause whiplash, if you feel neck pain, you should be checked by your doctor, in order to rule out anything more serious. Whiplash can appear up to a couple of weeks following the initial injury. Symptoms of whiplash include pain in the neck, back, shoulders, or arm. You could feel dizzy, fatigued, and have trouble with your memory.

If you do have whiplash, your doctor might recommend applying ice off and on for the first 24 hours following the accident. You will be encouraged to move your neck gently, perhaps doing some prescribed exercises. You may also be given some medications to relieve the pain or relax the muscles. Anita N. Vasavada, PhD, et al. Musculotendon and Fascicle Strains in Anterior and Posterior Neck Muscles During Whiplash Injury. In Spine. April 2007. Vol. 32. No. 7. Pp. 756-765.

*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.
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