Whiplash is an injury to the neck caused by the neck bending forcibly forward and then backward, or vice versa. Whiplash accidents usually involves the muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons in the neck.
Most whiplash injuries are the result of a collision that includes sudden acceleration or deceleration. Many whiplash injuries occur when a person is involved in a rear-end automobile collision, or as a result of a sports injury, particularly during contact sports.
The following are the most common symptoms of a whiplash injury. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of a whiplash injury may resemble other conditions and medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for whiplash may include the following (as many whiplash injuries include damage to soft tissue that cannot be seen on x-rays):
Computed tomography scan (Also called a CT or CAT scan.) – a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radio frequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
Specific treatment for whiplash will be determined by your physician based on:
Your age, overall health, and medical history extent of the injury your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies expectations for the course of the injury your opinion or preference Treatment may include: