Is it Whiplash or a Cervical Spine Injury?

Many people take back health for granted. Like anything, it’s only when we lose it that we realize how great it is. We sometimes don’t even pay attention to body parts until they hurt, which is a how the system is designed anyway. Pain is the body’s way of speaking to us, sometimes in a yell, that something isn’t right. Some of us are born with back issues, some of us suffer them after accidents, and some of us slowly develop them over time. However a back issue shows up, it’s important to not ignore the issue and get help.

In our experience, time does not heal all wounds; in fact, it can often make them worse. The tricky part is coming to the realization that you actually are dealing with something that needs professional help. We have found that many of our patients wait until their back issues get very serious to give us a call. For some people, realizing that they need to help is the easy part; it’s making an appointment, entering the waiting room, and facing the doctor that’s difficult. Whatever may make a person hesitate to contact us the Spine Institute of North America, we understand the struggle of facing a health issue and all of its expenses, time commitment, and emotional stress. It can seem easier to just keep living like nothing is wrong and hope things will get better. However, when your back has problems, it’s hard to live life normally at all. That is why we have dedicated ourselves to offering effective spine pain solutions that do not require massive recovery times and nerve-wracking risk.

Your Spine Is Worth the Effort

The spine is key to the function of a majority of the rest of the body. It is as important as your opposable thumbs! Consisting of 24 vertebrae fitted carefully together and padded by discs, it is a mass of nerves, bones, and specialized tissue central to every move you make. If just one part of the system gets out of alignment or is damaged, the ramifications can show up in your legs, hands, head, and beyond.

It is amazing that our spines do as well as they do, with all the twisting, pulling, and improper lifting the average person does in life. They absorb the shock of every step and give our ribs and heads structure to hold onto. It protects the spinal cord, which allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body and coordinates our movements so we can function. Just one vertebra pressing against the spinal cord a little can completely incapacitate a person. The good news is, there are ways we can access troubled zones of the spine without affecting any other part of it.

Many times, we end up serving people who are struggling with the fallout from car accidents. Without good care, the issues can stretch out, costing time, money, and preventing people from living their lives. Just a little impact to people’s sleep or mobility can affect their ability to work and take care of themselves, leading to a discouraging snowball effect. In today’s, blog, we’re going to discuss some of the most common injuries that can result from car accidents, especially whiplash.

Common Types of Car Accident Injuries

  • Neck, Back, and Spinal Injuries – These are the most common because no matter what kind of accident you get into, it generally involves the jerking of the head or impact to the spine. Even a light fender-bender can cause issues that stick around for years, even cause loss of sensation or paralysis. That is why we do what we do!
  • Soft Tissue Injuries – It is common for ligaments, and muscles to get torn or stretched in accidents, and these parts of the body, like many others, do not take kindly to injury. Worse, you usually need to use them during daily activities, which can make daily life very difficult.
  • Burns and Broken Bones – Both of these types of injuries can require advanced treatment and long recovery. Unfortunately, they are usually accompanied by back injuries.
  • Brain and Head Injuries – The same impact that jerks or slams the spine can come from the striking of the head against a steering wheel or window. As a result of the impact, people suffer internal bleeding, lacerations, and skull fractures in addition to their spinal injuries.

Is it Whiplash or a Cervical Spinal Injury?

  • Before we start this discussion, we want to make it clear that it cannot replace a consultation with a professional with access to the knowledge and equipment necessary for successful diagnosis and treatment.

In our list of common car accident injuries, we mentioned spinal/back injuries separately from soft tissue injuries. At SINA, we treat spinal issues like injuries, not soft tissue injuries. Whiplash is a purely soft tissue injury ferocious enough to make people think they have actual spinal problems when they don’t. We can’t blame people for thinking the way they do; whiplash is a miserable injury that takes its sweet time in healing.

What is whiplash?

When your head jerks suddenly, the soft tissue gets wrenched and often torn. Whiplash is a common result of accidents because all it takes is a sudden stop to cause it. The usual symptoms are significant stiffness, pain, and discomfort that may show up right after the accident or even days later. People also experience dizziness, blurred vision, arm and leg pain, numbness, nausea, and ringing in their ears. As you can guess, these unnerving symptoms lead people to think they have permanent spine injuries. This is why it is so important to get checked out by a doctor after any kind of accident, even if it was a small one. You need to know if something is seriously out of place as soon as possible, and a good doctor will cover all the bases.

What is a cervical spine injury?

When we say “cervical,” we refer to the neck portion of your spine, the same area that can be affected by whiplash. When it gets damaged, the trouble isn’t limited to your soft tissue (as it is in the case of whiplash). That being said, spinal injuries are usually accompanied by muscle injuries. In addition to muscle issues, you will often feel numbness, pain, burning sensations, weakness, muscle spasms, the inability to move your limbs or walk, and the inability to feel pressure. As you can see, whiplash is painful and inflamed, but a cervical spine injury causes deeper, scarier problems.


If you come out the other side of an accident and are experiencing pain that isn’t just central to your neck but also spreads to other parts of your body, you may be suffering from a true cervical spine injury. Make appointment with us for some clarity and effective treatment if your spine has been effected.

Let Us Help

Some of the people we meet are taken by surprise by how many daily activities involve their spines. Even the most basic activity can become an ordeal when your spine is having trouble. Returning to normal life is completely possible if you turn to us.

In the past, when people needed spinal procedures, it was an ordeal. Large incisions made for long recovery times and high risks of complications. That is why we so passionately pursue minimally-invasive procedures that require only tiny incisions and tinier implements to bring relief. SINA is proud to be the nation’s premier spine procedure team, and we work hard every day to provide a wide range of services, including regenerative medicine, endoscopic procedures, pain management treatments, and beyond.

If you do not believe that we can address your condition or injury, it is especially important for you to make an appointment with us. We are experts at getting to the bottom of all kinds of mysterious pains and working to provide relief. That is what makes us a Top Rated Local Spine Institute. As we said at the beginning of this blog, the key is taking that first step and giving us a call instead of hoping that the pain will go away. True spine issues do not tend to improve, but get worse instead.

Turn to our world-class spine doctor team in New Jersey. We are dedicated to constant learning, progress, and most of all, the care and relief of our patients. Get in touch with us and make an appointment today!

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