Whiplash is a neck strain injury often associated with car accidents, but it can also occur in contact sports, such as football. The impact or blow causes the head to quickly jerk forward or backward, resulting in stretched or torn muscles and tendons in the neck. Symptoms include pain and stiffness when moving your head, decreased range of motion, and headaches that radiate from the base of the skull to the forehead. The symptoms can be immediate or develop hours or days after the impact. It is important to see your doctor if you’ve experienced whiplash because concussions can also result from the blow that caused the whiplash.
Recovery for whiplash often includes:
Because the neck and spine are complex, recovery time for whiplash can range from a few days to weeks or longer depending on the severity of the injury. A specialist will be equipped to diagnose the severity and offer a cautious, tailored care plan. Additionally, they may recommend rehabilitation to help make your muscles stronger in recovery as well as help prevent future neck strains. It is important to recover fully before returning to sports or other activities and then to start slowly. Do not try to immediately return to your previous activity levels.