Whiplash Specialist

Avaya Wellness Center

Acupuncturists & Herbalists located in SoMa, San Francisco, CA

Dr. Mendake helps patients suffering from whiplash with a range of conventional and alternative therapies from the Avaya Wellness Center located in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco, California.

Whiplash Q & A

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is the rapid back-and-forth movement of the head on the neck, like what happens when you crack a whip. Although it may also be called a neck strain or sprain, those terms are not really accurate. The weight of the head can cause neck muscles, ligaments, and tendons to become overstretched and even tear. Whiplash may also damage the discs -- cushions of cartilage between the neck bones. It is most likely to occur as a result of a rear-end automobile accident, but sports injuries or a blow to the head can also cause whiplash.

Can Whiplash Affect the Brain?

Because the brain rests inside the skull, whiplash can result in the brain slamming into the skull's bony inner surface. These impacts can damage structures in the brain and even cause bleeding and bruising inside the brain. Whiplash can result in a minor traumatic brain injury that causes symptoms such as momentary loss of consciousness, headaches, visual disturbances, and cognitive problems. Symptoms may not become apparent until several weeks after the accident.

What are the Aftereffects of Whiplash?

Whiplash can result in a variety of symptoms, which usually develop within 24 hours of the injury. However, in some cases, the patient will have no symptoms initially and it is not until weeks later that problems begin. Symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, headaches (typically at the base of the skull) tenderness, pain, or numbness and tingling in the shoulder, upper back, or upper arms. More generalized symptoms can include fatigue, dizziness, sleep disturbances, and visual or cognitive problems.

How is Whiplash Treated?

Initially, whiplash is treated like any musculoskeletal injury, with rest and ice or heat, depending on how the patient responds. Some physicians place the patient in a soft cervical collar to support and protect the neck. Muscle relaxants and pain medications are often prescribed. Although the injury will typically heal, it may cause chronic neck pain or headaches related to tense muscles or misalignment in the bones of the neck. Massage, physical therapy, and chiropractic treatment can be helpful, and the pain may also respond to acupuncture.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

At Avaya Wellness Center, we accept most insurance plans. We accept United health care, Aetna and Blue Shield PPO plans. We are in network for Cigna and Blue Shield. If you don’t see your insurance on the list, we are happy to check your benefits for you. Please enter your insurance information in the online request for appointment to get details on your benefits.

Blue Shield of California
Coventry Worker's Compensation
Prime Health Services
United Health Care