Whiplash is a neck injury that happens when the neck is subjected to rapid back-and-forth movement due to motor collision, physical injury or any other traumatic event. The impact due to either these events causes the neck and head to whip back and forth faster than what the neck is designed to endure. As a result, the soft tissues in the neck (muscles & ligaments) are forced to extend beyond their usual range of motion resulting in a strain that may last days and even months when not treated
Treatment for Whiplash – Cervical Facet Injections:
A large clucky cervical collar or brace has been the conservative treatment option to alleviate the symptoms of whiplash. “These braces limit movement, takes load off the neck to enable healing. The patient will have to wear the brace for 3-4 weeks during which they need to re-learn how to handle regular activities with the brace”, says spine surgeon Mr Jwalant S Mehta.
While the brace does help, it can be cumbersome for many people looking for swift recovery without limiting their daily activity. Fortunately facet injections can help treat whiplash today by reducing the pain it triggers.
What are Cervical Facet Injections for Whiplash?
The common source of neck pain in a whiplash injury is the inflamed cervical facet joint and the capsule it resides. A cervical facet injection is a clinical procedure where this inflamed cervical facet joint is injected with steroids that numb the area and as a result, reduce the pain.
“It is important to understand that cervical facet injections are not a miracle fic to the whiplash. They significantly reduce the pain by numbing the area and this makes the natural recovery process bearable for the injury without limiting your activities like the cervical brace”, says Mr Jwalant S Mehta, specialist in spinal surgery at our Birmingham Spinal Clinic.
What Happens During Cervical Facet Injection?
The cervical facet injections for whiplash is a non-invasive outpatient procedure that is performed by a neck pain specialist or a spine surgeon under the guidance of x-ray. So like all type of neck injections, the patient may experience mild bruising or swelling at the site of the injection. So the site is cleaned adequately to reduce the risk of injection. Based on the severity of the whiplash injury the cervical facet injection treatment may stretch for weeks or months helping the body to heal in the process.
What to Expect After Cervical Facet Injection for Whiplash?
After the cervical facet injection, the patient is observed for a short period of time and then discharged. The patients may feel slight soreness and discomfort which eventually subsides. Pain relief begins shortly after the injection and the patients will be able to resume their daily activities. The pain relief can last for few months by the time which the patient may recover from whiplash by following the treatment plan suggested by the spine specialist.
Whiplash is a common injury during motor crashes, accidents, sports injuries or even amusement park rides .In most cases it takes time to set-in and so, people often ignore the whiplash until mild headaches, neck pain and neck mobility issues arise to disturb the daily activities. If you are a patient suffering from these symptoms of whiplash, cervical facet injections offer faster relief without interfering with your daily routine. For more information on cervical fact injections for whiplash, you can contact our spine surgeon Mr. Jwalant S Mehta at our Birmingham spinal clinic.