Whiplash Treatment Willowbrook, Illinois
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a forceful, rapid, back-and-forth movement of the neck. It gets its name due to the similarity to the cracking of a whip. Whiplash is usually caused when a car is rear-ended, but it can also occur during severe impacts in sports such as football and from other trauma.
When whiplash occurs, the head is instantly thrown backwards with force, and it then recoils forward. This rapid motion can injure the bones in the cervical spine, the disks between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and other tissues of the neck.
What are the signs and symptoms of whiplash?
Signs and symptoms of whiplash will usually develop within 24 hours of the injury, although there can be exceptions. These are common symptoms:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Worsening pain with neck movement
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
- Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back, or arms
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
- Blurred vision
- Tinnitus (ear ringing)
- Sleep disturbances
- Concentration problems
- Memory problems
How is whiplash treated?
Whiplash injuries can resolve on their own in some cases with over-the-counter medication and a regimen of at home exercises, but more serious cases need more involved treatment. Here are some options Dr. Elborno uses for whiplash treatments.
Managing Whiplash Pain
- Bed rest — Rest is important for the first 24 hours, but needs to be limited beyond that, as it can actually delay healing.
- Heat or cold — Heat or cold is applied for 15 minutes up to six times per day.
- Over-the-counter medications — Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used for mild to moderate whiplash pain.
- Prescription medications — In more severe pain, certain antidepressant drugs have proven to be effective for relieving nerve pain.
- Muscle relaxants — These drugs can loosen tight neck muscles and relieve pain. They can also help with sleep that is being impacted by pain.
- Injections — Lidocaine can be injected directly into the muscle areas to allow you to perform necessary physical therapy.
Stretching and movement exercises are important to regain range of motion in your neck. These exercises may include:
- Tilting the head from side to side
- Rotating the neck in both directions
- Bending your neck forward toward your chest
- Rolling your shoulders
If the patient’s pain continues, we may add physical therapy to your treatment. Physical therapists can guide patients through exercises to strengthen muscles, improve posture, and regain range of motion. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) delivers a mild electric current to the skin and muscles beneath. This may be an effective addition to PT.
- “Dr. Elborno, and the rest of the team treat you as family. They are great listeners, and absolute professionals. I recommend their services to everyone!” – Victoria N
- “Experience was great. The staff was very friendly, funny, and professional. I would recommended Dr. Elborno to all my friends and family. He knows what he is doing and great staff to get things done.”– Reno S.
- “Very caring doctor and staff giving full attention to their patients. Both Dr. Elborno and the staff are very professional and do a great job running the office smoothly. One of the best facilities I have ever been to as far as solving my health issues.”– Alex M.