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What is Whiplash?


Question: The term whiplash refers to a specific injury to the neck. True or False?

Answer: False.

The term whiplash refers not to one particular injury, but to a violent forward/backward or lateral motion of the head, which usually causesmultiple neck injuries.

Whiplash most often is the result of a motor vehicle accident - usually, but not always, a rear-end collision. Whiplash can be caused by a forceful collision in various sports or even a fall.
When whiplash occurs, the result can be a headache, concussion,  nerve-root compression or torn muscles in the anterior and/or posterior aspects of the neck. The most common lasting results are ligament sprains in the cervical area. As many as 18 different cervical ligaments might be affected from a whiplash.  Depending on the severity of the injury, pain may be immediate or could begin days or even several weeks later.
Accurate assessment is needed to plan a course of treatment. In any auto injury or whiplash, it is essential to see a physician first. In addition to soft-tissue injuries, whiplash often causes a concussion and sometimes a nerve- root compression, these conditions can only be diagnosed by a doctor.
If the muscles are what is injured, they can be treated gently soon after the accident. If the ligaments are sprained, massage and friction therapy can safely be applied by a skilled massage practitioner usually after 72 hours though stages of inflamation should be used as a guide.
Source: Ben Benjamin
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