We have been providing treatment for whiplash injuries in San Francisco for over 21 years now in the Financial District.
The term “whiplash” is a slang term
for a neck injury most accurately called a cervical acceleration-deceleration
(CAD) injury. Now you know why we call it “whiplash”! It suggests that the head
was forced through a range of motion that exceeds the barriers of our normal
tissue, resulting in injury to the neck.
a slip and fall, or even a bar-room brawl, can cause whiplash, whiplash is
usually associated with injuries that occur from a car accident or “motor
vehicle collision” (MVC). The term “syndrome” refers to a cluster of symptoms
that can include neck pain, headache, light-headedness, ringing in the ears,
visual disturbances, memory loss, nausea/vomiting, noise and/or light
sensitivity (usually associated with mild traumatic brain injury or,
post-concussive syndrome), TMJ (jaw) pain, radiating pain, numbness, and/or
weakness in the arm, limited neck movements, and more. Even the low back can be
injured in a whiplash injury! In other
words, a whiplash injury can affect MANY different parts of the body, and the
clinical picture can vary widely from case to case.
is diagnosed through a thorough history, paying particular attention to the
mechanism of injury – that is, how fast were you and the opposing vehicle
traveling, in what direction did you get hit (front, side, rear, angular, or
combinations), what size was your vs. the opposing vehicle, was your head
turned or pointed straight at the time of impact and did you hit your head?
Also, we will ask, what were your immediate symptoms compared to 30 min., 60
min., 3 hrs, 6 hrs later, the next morning, and when did your symptoms peak?
What activities (including work) have been affected, and to what degree? What
self-management approaches have you tried, and how have they worked? The more
we can learn about the accident and your immediate symptoms, or delay in
symptom onset, the better we can address your problems. The physical
examination is also very important as we will observe your movement quality,
posture, pain expression, palpate for muscle guarding, trigger points, and
swelling of the injured joints. We will also evaluate your neck and back range
of motion, assess your neurological functions, and assess extremity issues that
might be present. X-rays will more than likely be done and may include “stress
views” where you bend the neck forwards and backwards to assess the stability
of your spine. Comparison to older x-rays can be very helpful, if they exist.
Depending on the degree and type of the injury, special tests will be
considered such as MRI, EMG/NCV, laboratory tests, and perhaps others.
will consist of: addressing the acute inflammatory painful symptoms by the use
of gentle massage, mobilization and/or manipulation, electrical stim or a
different anti-inflammatory modality, review how to apply ice and/or heat, how
to bend/lift/pull & push properly to avoid irritation. We’ll teach you
exercises, proper sleep positions, and other home applied, self-help
techniques. The goals of pain management, functional restoration, and
prevention will be applied. If needed, coordinating care between our office and
primary care, orthopedic, neurology, or others will be smoothly managed as the
We realize you have a choice in where you choose your
healthcare services. If you, a friend or
family member requires care for whiplash, we sincerely appreciate the trust and
confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and
your family presently and, in the future.
To schedule an appointment with a whiplash specialist in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation in house or by telephone.
Serving local 94111 since 1992