Treatment and Prevention of Whiplash

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What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a condition where you experience a neck injury from sudden movement. While its name may seem to refer to a single concept, it can give rise to a wide range of conditions. Additionally, there is no restriction in the direction of the movement that can cause this condition. It can occur as long as the incident is forceful and rapid, resulting in the neck bending beyond its normal range without any restraint.

Most of these injuries are caused by car collisions, sports accidents, and falls. This injury usually involves the bones and soft tissues of your neck, with the damage potentially affecting the nerves, muscles, ligaments and tendons too, depending on the severity. The treatments for whiplash can range from rest and pain medication to injections and physiotherapy, which will be recommended based on your symptoms and a doctor’s examination.

Whiplash | Avant Orthopaedics

Treatments for Whiplash

What are the Non-Surgical Treatments for Whiplash?

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications like Tylenol and ibuprofen are used to alleviate pain and inflammation, as they can provide temporary relief against symptoms of neck injuries caused by sudden movement.

As your body heals from whiplash, your doctors may administer injections which help reduce discomfort by numbing pain. This is often used alongside other treatments to make the recovery process more bearable.

Muscle relaxants aid in loosening tight muscles and lessen pain. It may also be used to stop muscle spasms along with helping you sleep if the discomfort tends to keep you up at night.

A physiotherapist can draw up a personalised treatment plan for you depending on the severity of your condition as well as your goals. This may involve exercises designed to alleviate stiffness and help you regain mobility in your neck.

What are the Surgical Treatments for Whiplash?

A cervical foraminotomy may be considered for whiplash-related injuries if there is a narrowing of the space where the nerve exits the spinal canal and conservative treatments have not provided relief. For this procedure, a portion of the bone or tissue compressing the nerve root is removed. It is done to increase the size of the nerve pathway, reducing the risk of nerve compression or pinching.

If the whiplash has led to a narrowing of the spinal canal in your neck, you may be recommended to undergo a laminectomy. This procedure involves removing a part or all of the lamina to ease the pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots.

Cervical fusion surgery may be required if the whiplash has resulted in intervertebral disc rupture. The resultant rupture may also cause bulging of the disc causing severe impingement of the spinal cord or the spinal nerve roots. In the procedure, the affected disc is removed entirely and an implant is inserted and secured with screws and sometimes with the addition of a metal plate to secure the injured level.

Are You or a Loved One Suffering from Whiplash | Avant Orthopaedics

Are You or a Loved One Suffering from Whiplash?

Whiplash can cause neck pain, headaches, and dizziness, and may even affect your quality of sleep if the symptoms are persistent. If you or a loved one is suffering from this condition, contact us at Avant Orthopaedics for a personalised consultation and to learn more about the available treatments.

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