What is Whiplash?

The Atlanta pain physician at Comprehensive Spine & Pain describes whiplash as a kind of neck injury that can happen during a typical rear-end vehicle collision, when the head abruptly thrusts forward and then backwards, much like the motion of a cracking whip. These intense motions force the neck ligaments and muscles beyond their usual range of motion causing stress and pain.

An injury can either be severe or mild. Often, neck injury doctors begin treatment with over-the-counter pain medications along with applications of ice to the targeted muscles in the neck. If the pain continues, physical therapy and prescription drugs may help.

Most individuals recover in just a few, short weeks, while others may develop ongoing pain after suffering an injury.


Whiplash pain is very hard to ignore. Some symptoms of a neck injury may include the following:

  • Pain towards the base of the skull that runs upwards to the forehead
  • Tenderness
  • Pain when moving your head back and forth or from side to side
  • Tightness, pain, and loss of range of motion
  • Muscles feel slightly knotted or even hard

Sometimes it can take many hours or even days before you start to notice your neck pain after an injury, while at times the strain can be immediate.

The force that causes neck pain can also sometimes cause a concussion as well. Because a concussion can be quite serious, you’ll need to seek medical attention immediately. If you feel extra sleepy, nauseous, confused, or dizzy, medical emergency care is necessary.

In order to diagnose a neck strain, your Atlanta pain physician will do a complete examination on you. Also, you may require a CT (computed tomography) scan, X-rays, or other tests as well to eliminate any other issues.


According to neck injury doctors, whiplash is a serious strain on the neck and may result from any of the following:

Vehicle Crash:
A rear-end collision is the most common reason for neck strain.

Physical Contact Sports:
Tackles in football along with other sports-related impacts can sometimes cause neck strain injuries.

Physical Abuse:
A neck strain injury could also result from occasions of getting violently punched or even shaken, which sometimes happens in young children and infants known as shaken baby syndrome.


Treatment for acute neck strain may involve taking pain medications including muscle relaxants, antidepressants or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In some instances, your Atlanta pain physician may suggest wearing a cervical collar until you are healed. Neck injury doctors will also recommend exercises, cervical tractions or physical therapy that utilizes your range of motion to treat whiplash. Applying supplemental heat may also treat muscle tension and soreness.

Atlanta pain physician, V. K. Puppala, M.D., treats patients at his pain and spine clinic in Villa Rica, Georgia. Known for managing his patients and staff with the utmost respect, compassion and empathy, Dr. Puppala is genuinely concerned about the well-being of those around him. Taking a multidisciplinary approach to pain management in Atlanta, he incorporates several minimally invasive interventional methods including practical treatment and effective medication management to reduce pain and discomfort. Call 770-627-7246 or 770-MAP-PAIN today to schedule an appointment at one of Dr. Puppala’s Atlanta pain clinics.

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Call 770-627-7246 or 770-MAP-PAIN to schedule an appointment today with Dr. Puppala at his practice in Lithia Springs, Georgia.