- 75% of car accident insurance claims cite whiplash injury.
- So what is a whiplash injury?
- It’s an injury to the neck (Cervical area), which is caused by a forceful movement, which can be forwards, backwards and sideways.
- The head moves in one direction and the seat belt stops the movement and the head flicks back in the opposite direction.
- It can be caused by a car accident, a heavy fall or blow to the head.
- The neck is designed to be flexible and so is easily damaged.
- A whiplash injury can cause muscular, ligament or tendon damage.
(i): Stiffness or pain in the neck; pain may also radiate into the arms or into the jaw.
(ii): Pain or stiffness in the mid or low back.
(iii): Swelling in the neck.
(iv): Pins and needles in the arms.
- If you experience any dizziness, visual disturbances, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or headaches it maybe advisable to speak to your GP.
There are no specific sets of symptoms that constitute a whiplash injury. The diagnosis is based on a history of the injury and the examination.
Occasionally an x-ray or scan is required to rule out fracture, spinal cord compression, nerve or head injuries.
Increased risk: You are at increased risk of a whiplash injury if:
- You are female as your muscle tone is not as strong and your neck may be generally more mobile.
- You are a young adult who takes part in contact or high risk sports.
- You have poor posture.
- You have congenital neck problems.
- You have a badly fitted head restraint.
- Days off work.
- Difficulties with daily activity.
- Chronic pain syndrome.
- The symptoms usually recede within days or weeks.
- It is recommended that you maintain normal activities.
- Do not wear a collar.
- Initially use ice and pain relief, either pain relief or anti inflammatories.
- Maintain a good posture and use a supportive pillow.
- Keep a good posture.
- Stretch your neck and spine regularly.
- Maintain muscle strength and general fitness.