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Selecting the right doctor to treat your accident injuries is a very important for your recovery and your case. 

Choose from one of the Miami Back Institute Accident Injury Physicians at a location near you.

Miami, Coral Gables, West Miami, Miami Lakes

WHIPLASH

What is whiplash?
Whiplash is a severe injury to the vertebrae, muscles, or ligaments of the neck caused by a sudden forward and backward jerking of the head and neck.  Whiplash is the most common injury following car accidents, usually in rear-end collisions, and can cause long-term pain and stiffness in the neck.

Whiplash Symptoms
Most patients develop symptoms of whiplash within twenty four hours of the injury and there is good evidence that early onset of pain is associated with a longer time to recovery.

The symptoms of whiplash injury are dominated by pain in the neck and headache.  Pain across the top of the shoulders and pain or numbness and tingling in the arms may also result and less commonly, dizziness, blurred vision and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).  Whiplash injury may also be associated with low-back pain, with some research studies reporting low back pain in up to 40% of all patients.

Who suffers from whiplash?
Anyone can be subjected to whiplash, even in low-force car crashes with speeds as low as 5mph. Injuries associated with whiplash can also result from other accidents in which the head is pushed or jerked beyond its normal range of motion.

Whiplash Treatment
The treatment for whiplash syndromes depends on the stage and severity of the problem and which anatomical structures have been injured. In addition to soft tissue injury, pain that persists after four to six months may be a result of injury to the spinal joints, or discs. The diagnosis can usually be made by examination, injections, MRI, and X-rays. Treatment is usually successful, but requires Chiropractic and Physical Therapy, injections, and occasionally surgery.

Whiplash Injuries
Significant damage to ligaments, discs, and joints can occur even if the swings of extension and flexion are not excessive, but often the neck is forced to the extreme ends of normal range or beyond. Because the trauma is usually sudden, occupants of the car are not prepared for the impact. The muscles are relaxed, which produces more force on the discs, ligaments and joints. Perhaps the most important fact about whiplash is that significant pain and structural damage can occur at crashes of low velocity.

Whiplash - The causes of the pain
It is the patient with persistent pain without any other specific findings on examination or specialized tests that presents the most problems for the patient himself or herself, the doctors, and the legal system. In the first few weeks to months after motor vehicle accident, it is often impossible to determine the exact cause or causes of the pain. The symptoms and signs are not sufficiently specific. In almost every instance, the muscles and ligaments have been strained and may be inflamed, painful, and tender. However after about 3 months, primary muscle or other soft tissue injuries usually have healed.

The most common causes of persistent pain in whiplash are the facet joints and the discs. There is a poor correlation between the radiographic appearance of the joints and whether they are painful. Some joints which look bad are painless while other joints that look normal can be proven to be a source of pain. Only facet injections can determine whether the joint is painful.

Long-term Outcome
Fortunately, most people who suffer neck pain after a whiplash injury will recover by six months. However, a small percentage of people continue to have pain.

Most patients recover completely by three to four months, after which the rate of recovery slows markedly. Within two years after the accident, most patients have reached their maximum medical improvement, however, about 18% continue to have significant pain.  Patients who do not get well tend to be older, have pain which began sooner after the accident, and/or had their head rotated to either side at the time of the impact. They also found that patients who, before the accident, had a history of neck pain, arthritis of the neck, or headaches did not do as well.

If you have been in an accident and have pain, even if it is minor, consult with a doctor who has experience treating accident injuries. Our professional staff has over 20 years experience in managing Personal Injury cases.

Free Consultation
Schedule an appointment to see one of our back pain and accident injury doctor’s today.  The Miami Back Institute accident injury specialists are available 24/7 to take your calls. Our Accident Injury Doctors are standing by to answer your questions. 

We have helped many back pain and accident injury patients over the past 20 years - Let us help you.