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Whiplash Causes & Syptoms

by | Apr 5, 2016 | Injury

Whiplash is an acceleration-deceleration mechanism of energy transfer to the neck. It is caused by an atypical movement or force applied to the neck resulting in movement beyond the neck’s normal limit. It may result from motor vehicle accidents, sporting activities, accidental falls, repetitive stress injuries involving the neck, and assault. The impact may result in bony or soft tissue injuries, specifically to the ligaments, tendons, and muscles, which in turn may lead to a variety of clinical manifestations.

Signs and Symptoms

Whiplash, also called cervical sprain, cervical strain, or hyperextension injury, is characterized by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck.

Symptoms of whiplash may not present for 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. The most common symptom after a whiplash injury is neck pain or stiffness. People who experience whiplash may develop one or more of the following symptoms, usually within the first few days after the injury.

Hyperextension and Hyperflexion Whiplash

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Pain in the arms, shoulders or between the shoulder blades
  • Low back pain
  • Altered sensation such as pins and needles or numbness
  • Weakness
  • Ringing in the ears or blurred vision
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue