What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is 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, treatment starts 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 of the symptoms 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 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.


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 pain medications, wearing a cervical collar, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, or taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Doctors often suggest a range of motion type exercises, cervical traction, or physical therapy in treating neck injuries. Applying supplemental heat may help muscle tension and soreness as well.

V. K. Puppala, M.D. treats patients at his Villa Rica, Georgia office and is known for treating his patients as well as his staff with respect, compassion, and empathy and is genuinely concerned about their general well-being. Dr. Puppala takes a multidisciplinary approach by incorporating a number of minimally invasive interventional methods using practical restoration and effective medication management. Call 770-627-7246 or 770-MAP-PAIN today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Puppala serves patients from all over the Metro Atlanta area and beyond.

[fc id=’1′][/fc]

Contact Us Today

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