Whiplash. About Whiplash Neck Sprain, whiplash injuries, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis and Prevention. 

Whiplash Neck Sprain is a common injury in a number of traffic accidents caused by over-stretching and sprain of the soft tissues of the cervical spine. Whiplash injuries are also seen in skiing, gymnastics, boxing and diving. Encephalitis is a diagnosis, but means the movement in the neck and the head is subjected, being thrown back and head is then in the future, which can typically be achieved by an accident or other accidents. In most cases, the neck but only sprained. Symptoms can be mild and transient and this helps an ice pack, rest and possibly a neck collar for a few days in combination with analgesics over the counter medications. You will quickly return to a normal life, but you should always consult the doctor.

Sprain of the neck joints, ligaments and muscles

In some cases, whiplash developing into a prolonged illness with persistent pain in the head and neck, fatigue, dizziness, memory and concentration problems, and to a degree that will affect your work, daily life and family life. Some even develop a so-called whiplash syndrome. A syndrome that can even discuss why, since you do not know about the condition caused by physical, mental, or social or cultural reasons. That does not mean you should abandon treatment. Often sits forstuvningen in the neck joints and ligaments, and muscles around the throat and neck. Symptom development is slow with peak 3-12 days after the accident. In most cases, chiropractic treatment or physical therapy, followed by a rehabilitation period, have a good effect. In a few cases where there may be breaks in the spine or caused severe pressure on the nerves, one should referred for orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon.

Symptoms of whiplash

Symptoms vary from person to person and will also be dependent on the accident type and severity. - Immediately after the accident, one can experience confusion, anger, dizziness, neck pain and headaches. This will usually rapidly decrease, then one can be without symptoms for several hours to days. It is not unusual that after the accident, choose to go straight to work as if nothing had happened. Many will after a few hours or days slowly getting increasing neck pain, neck stiffness and headache. The pain may radiate up into your head and into his arms. Moreover, in varying degrees of dizziness, tingling and tingling in the arms and fingers, ringing in the ears, difficulty swallowing, concentration, and insomnia. These signs will of the majority disappear completely within a few weeks or months. - It is estimated that about 10 percent. develop chronic, persistent symptoms of more than six months. The pain will often change character and become more deep and boring, and more widespread. This can affect the personality of a degree, so the environment is surprising that a former functioning, friendly person is irascible and irritable. In many cases, it could affect the ability to work. - The diverse and varied symptoms, especially pain in the neck, soreness of the arms and difficulty with concentration, disappears from most damaged usually within a few weeks.

Whiplash. How is it diagnosed?

The doctor makes the diagnosis based on the type of injury involved and the patient's complaints. A whiplash injury can not be seen on MRI or CT scan or other types of imaging studies. It takes X-ray if there is suspicion of fracture or dislocation of the cervical spine. People who have suffered a whiplash injury, has no brain damage. Whiplash injuries are divided into four groups based on patient complaints and physician examination. - Grade Breakdown:

  • Grade 0: Here the whiplash victims either symptoms or indications, and there will be no further action.
  • Grade 1: Here, the physician will often have taken a radiograph of the neck front and side. In some cases supplemented radiographs with a known function of recording. In function of recording X-ray during movement of the head and neck.
  • Grade 2-3: Here are the indications of such a nature that the whiplash injuries will have x-rays taken within the first week.
  • Grade 4: Here the whiplash injured fracture or dislocation of the cervical spine and fails therefore nothing but a whiplash injury. People with these injuries will be referred to a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon MHP investigation and possible surgery.

Diagnosis and graduation are normally incorporated in insurance cases for compensation, where eg increasing traffic victims receive compensation for chronic discomfort caused by whiplash, even after a collision at very low speeds.

Treatment after a whiplash injury

In most cases, chiropractic treatment or physical therapy, followed by a rehabilitation period, have a good effect. - Medicine: In the acute phase after a whiplash may be needed analgesic treatment with mild preparations Paracetamol or anti-rheumatic drugs by NSAID type is anti-inflammatory agents, where the effect is shown by the less morning stiffness, less pain and reduced fever. - Surgery: If the patient has received serious injuries, including fractures, there will be a need for hospitalization and possible. surgical treatment. - Second treatment: Rehabilitation of people with whiplash will mostly involve the use of soft cervical collar for short term use (from a few days up to one week) and rest and relief, cold packs (ice), light exercises within the pain threshold by way of example, stretching them.

Facts about Whiplash

Every three injured in road accidents with motor vehicles have symptoms of dislocation of the neck. The proportion of injuries with dislocation of the neck after traffic accidents is increasing. Whiplash Injury occurs most often in traffic accidents where the injured riding in a car that gets hit from behind by another vehicle. The car is hit, often keep quiet or slow. 3 out of 4 whiplash sufferers are women. 12% of the men who have had whiplash in accidents were passengers when the accident happened. 31% of women with whiplash were passengers. According to the insurance companies paid out annually very large sums for whiplash victims with permanent injuries. Source: Road Safety Council


It is mentioned only a few percent, which will have lasting effects after a whiplash injury to such an extent that it affects such incapacity. The chance that one recovers completely, is good. However, it is not unusual that one may have neck pain in addition to the first few months in the same manner as in other types of sprains.


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