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Haymarket, VA 20169

Have You Experienced Whiplash?
By Northern Virginia Orthopedic Specialists
August 29, 2019
Tags: Whiplash  

Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Specialists provide Haymarket and Manassas, VA, patients with the care they need.

What is Whiplash?

It is the sudden extension or backward movement then forward movement of the spine. This trauma is called cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD) injury. Whiplash occurs most notable during rear-end or side-impact of car collisions, eventually causing injury: muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, and discs of the cervical spine.

Risk Factors

About three million people experience whiplash and 150,000 may suffer from a disability because of the injury. The following may affect recovering from whiplash:

  • Head turned one way or the other during impact
  • Getting hit from behind
  • Previous neck pain or headaches
  • Poor posture during impact
  • Poor position of the headrest
  • Being in the front seat as opposed the back seat
  • Collision with a vehicle larger than yours
  • Wearing a seatbelt

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

There are several symptoms including: shoulder pain, facial pain, fatigue, confusion, poor concentration, irritability, difficulty sleeping, forgetfulness, visual problems, and numbness in arms, hands, legs, or feet.

Other symptoms include:

  • Neck pain that travels down the arm: 90% of people suffer from neck pain which spreads to other parts of your body, like shoulder blades.
  • Low back pain: 39% of whiplash-suffering patients suffer from lower back pain.
  • Jaw pain and headaches: Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is your jaw's hinge joint and when injured, can cause painful headaches.
  • Dizziness: Your Haymarket and Manassas, VA, doctor needs to distinguish between whiplash-associated dizziness from vertigo for proper treatment.

How does your doctor diagnose whiplash?

There are several tests used which include x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), digital motion x-ray (DMX), myelogram, a bone scan, and electromyogram.

If you think you're suffering from whiplash and need to speak with a doctor, make sure you contact Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Specialists in Haymarket and Manassas, VA.