You may not feel it right away, but when you’ve been in a car accident, or had an injury with sudden acceleration or deceleration that causes your neck to move back and forth rapidly, you may have whiplash.
It’s important to see a specialist if you have any neck pain or other whiplash symptoms even weeks after a car accident, sports injury or other traumatic injury to get a prompt, accurate diagnosis and rule out broken bones or other damage that can develop into more acute symptoms.
Tampa Bay Spine & Sport specialists work as a team to diagnose and treat pain points thoroughly, utilizing interventional pain management, physical therapy, chiropractic care, sports medicine, neurosurgery, and PTSD counseling to address every aspect of a patient’s health and well-being.
Our highly trained doctors can help with neck pain, back pain, headaches, and other symptoms associated with whiplash injuries. Dr. Christopher Schrock, Dr. Scott Elliott, Dr. Mark Elliott, Dr. Matthew Ragsdell, Dr. Tom Coulter and Licensed Mental Health Counselor Cara Dixon-Taliaferro consult on every mutual patient ─ integrating treatment plans to guide each person on their path to pain-free living.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists, please fill out our Appointment Request Form or call one of our Florida locations:
Symptoms usually develop within days of an injury, and may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Increased pain when you move your neck
- Lost range of neck motion
- Headaches that usually start at the base of the skull
- Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
Some people also experience:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
It’s important to seek medical treatment after an acceleration/deceleration injury that may have caused whiplash. The Tampa Bay Spine and Injury team follows a comprehensive protocol for diagnosing whiplash and other related injuries.
- First, we do a physical exam to look into symptoms such as headache, neck pain, swelling, and general malaise. We also screen for concussion.
- Next, we get imaging (X-rays, MRI) to better understand the extent of the injuries. Are there any major ligament injuries that would destabilize the spine and prevent us from using chiropractic manipulation, or doing any stretching or strengthening exercises.
- In a rear end collision where the head extends forward or backwards, we will look for disc injuries that can cause radiating pain in the shoulders, down the arm, and into the fingers.
- Abrupt head extension can also injure the facet joints which connect the vertebrae. This can cause pain along the spine, in the neck, in the upper back, and referred pain along the back of the shoulders.
- A therapeutic injection can provide relief or help determine the source of pain by ruling out areas that don’t respond to treatment.
Inflammation caused by whiplash can make it hard to get an accurate diagnosis. The first step is to calm everything down before proceeding with therapy to make sure you treat the right thing. Whiplash treatment generally follows a standard path:
- Ice pack to reduce inflammation
- Imaging to determine the extent of injuries
- A rehabilitation program that may include manipulation if tolerated
- Interventional pain management in the form of a nerve block or other injection when symptoms fail to respond to treatment
Recovery will vary depending on the extent of injuries sustained from a whiplash.
- The inflammatory stage may last a couple of weeks
- During this time, we will work on pain management
- Rehabilitation will strike a balance between gaining structural mobility and stability to allow muscles and ligaments to heal within 6-12 weeks and become physiologically sound
- While strain injuries generally heal within 4-6 weeks, it’s important for them to heal correctly, and fully, in order to restore full function
Conditions We Treat
Whiplash Care in Tampa Ba
Tampa Bay Spine & Sport is an integrated practice with a primary focus on musculoskeletal rehabilitation to address back pain, neck pain, headaches, car accident and sports injuries. Dr. Christopher Schrock, Dr. Scott Elliott, Dr. Mark Elliott, Dr. Matthew Ragsdell, Dr. Tom Coulter and Licensed Mental Health Counselor Cara Dixon-Taliaferro work as a team to diagnose and treat pain points thoroughly, utilizing interventional pain management, neurosurgery, physical therapy, sports medicine, chiropractic care, and PTSD counseling. We collaborate with healthcare professionals from multiple disciplines to give patients a detailed picture of their health, physical limitations and range of potential treatments, and guide them on their path to pain-free living.
To schedule a consultation, please fill out our Appointment Request Form or call one of our Florida locations: