Whiplash Symptoms and Causes

By: Hugo Jeorge


A whiplash injury is the result of impulsive stretching or tearing of spinal ligaments, as the head snaps forward and then back again causing a whiplash injury.
The number one cause is being rammed from behind in a car. About one in five people involved in such a collision will end up with a problem of the neck and surrounding area.
Other causes of whiplash include: a sudden blow to the head (e.g. during contact sports such as boxing or rugby), being hit on the head by a heavy object, or a slip or fall where the head is jolted backwards.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Sensory disturbance (such as pins and needles) to the arms & legs, difficulty moving your neck around, headache. dizziness, tiredness. ringing in the ears or tinnitus, blurred vision and pain and stiffness of the neck, extending up to the head and down to the shoulders.
Whiplash Diagnosis
Head and neck examination, X-Rays to rule out fractures are the most common diagnosis methods, others may involve the use of medical imaging.
Your doctor will first examine the functioning of the spinal cord in order to determine if any damage is present. They will also inspect the patient's head and neck for any external signs of trauma including bruises, cuts, and abrasions. The patient may be asked to move their neck in a controlled way to the left, right, up, and down. Tell the doctor if neck pain, numbness, or tingling in any of the arms or legs, or any other abnormal feelings during these maneuvers is felt. X-rays may be taken of the neck bones to make sure there are no fractures or signs of other serious injury. The doctor will review these x-rays and order further imaging with a CT scan or MRI if needed.

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