Whiplash occurs when the head violently moves backward, forward, or even sideways. It is commonly associated with car accidents, but can occur in sports, by shaking, or in work related accidents.
When you experience excessive movement suddenly in your neck and cervical spine, your muscles contract as a reaction to the abnormal movement. Your body reacts this way as a protective mechanism for your spine. This type of movement may damage the discs between the cervical vertebrae, tear the muscles or ligaments that support your spine, or simply cause severe spasm.
Symptoms vary in severity and depend upon the injury. Some people recover quickly with conservative treatment, but others may have years of chronic symptoms like pain and stiffness. Furthermore, some sufferers of whiplash may experience post-traumatic arthritis.
Some symptoms of whiplash may include:
- neck pain and stiffness
- neurologic symptoms
- nerve root damage
- numbness or even weakness in your arms or legs
- shoulder pain
- low back pain
- blurred vision
If you have any of these symptoms from a work related injury, car accident, or any other incident causing your head to shift suddenly, you should contact a specialist to evaluate your condition and start on the road to recovery.
Regenerative Medicine for Whiplash:
Regenerative medicine is particularly useful for sufferers of whiplash, due to its ability to heal a number of conditions. Both Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) heal the source of the pain. For example, while cortisone shots simply mask the pain, regenerative medicine uses growth factors or stem cells to promote healing.
Since both treatments use the patient’s own blood or stem cells in the treatment, there are very few side effects. Whereas surgery causes the patient to leave physical activities for an extended period of time, PRP injections are much faster. Patient’s typically return to work or sports weeks ahead of those who undergo surgery.