Whiplash

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury to the neck, usually caused by sudden forceful jerk commonly occurring as a result of an automobile accident, sports injuries, or an accidental fall. Sometimes whiplash may also be referred to as neck strain, neck sprain or hyperextension injury.

Symptoms

Neck pain, stiffness in the neck and headache are the most common symptoms of whiplash. Headache may develop immediately after the injury or after a short period of time. Other symptoms include dizziness, tingling or pricking sensation in the upper extremities, shoulder pain, stiffness and psychological conditions such as memory loss, anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis depends on the history of the injury and the symptoms. X-ray of the neck may be taken to make sure there are no fractures or dislocation of the cervical spine.

Treatments

Pain medications, muscle relaxants, bed rest, cervical collar, neck exercises, ice therapy, heat therapy and physical therapy have been used in the management of symptoms.

Bed rest and use of a soft cervical collar to immobilize the neck, usually results in minimal benefit, and hence early initiation of simple exercises is advised to restore flexibility.

Physical therapy can be useful to help strengthen muscles and reduce pain.

To avoid this injury, always wear your seat belt and adjust your headrest to a proper height while driving.

  • Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital

    NHS

    Ashford and St Peter’s
    Hospital
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Guildford Road, Cherstey,
    Surrey, KY16 0PZ.
    Ph: 01932 872 000
  • The BMI Runnymede Hospital

    Private

    The BMI
    Runnymede Hospital
    Guildford Road,
    Ottershaw, CHERTSEY,
    KT16 0RQ.
    Ph: 01932 877800
  • Spire St Anthony’s Hospital

    Private

    Spire St Anthony’s
    Hospital
    801 London Road,
    NORTH CHEAM,
    SM3 9DW.
    Ph: 020 8337 6691
  • Nuffield Health Woking Hospital

    Private

    Nuffield Health
    Woking Hospital
    Shores Road,
    WOKING,
    GU21 4BY.
    Ph: 01483 331257
  • Ramsay Health Ashtead Hospital

    Private

    Ramsay Health
    Ashtead Hospital
    The Warren,
    Ashtead, Surrey.
    KT21 2SB.
    Ph: 01372 221400