Whiplash injury is called to a group of neck injuries that happen when neck is stretch too much and too fast, like WHIPLASH movement. In this injury the cervical spine is bent forward (hyper flection) or bent backward (hyper extension). This is not a medical term and is adapted to describe a cervical spine strain or sprain injury. It describes a spectrum of injuries in neck from mild stretches, to more severe strain or sprain injuries to muscles, ligaments, discs or nerve roots. The most common cause of Whiplash injury is car accidents but it can happen in sport injuries or any other reason for the neck to stretch too much, too fast! Neck pain, stiffness, decreased range of motion and headaches are among the common symptoms of whiplash injuries. RED FLAGS: If one develops dizziness, balance issues, memory problems, blurred vision or difficulty with concentration it is better to check with physician to rule out brain injury. Numbness in arms may be an indication of nerve damage. Sever neck pain and tenderness over spine may be the signs of ligament tears or small fractures in neck.
Because the spectrum of injuries in this condition is quite wide and stretches from mild to sever with possibility of structural damages, it is very important to visit your physician for evaluations. Current evidence shows that the earliest treatment is started the better would be treatment outcomes. This is a common injury but needs very thorough assessment, proper diagnosis of baseline injuries and proper treatments to avoid turning into a chronic condition.