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Whiplash

Whiplash is the injury associated with the neck as a consequence of an injury to the soft tissues (ligaments, tendons or muscles) following an accidental movement or force applied to the neck thus causing the neck to move past its regular angle of motion. Any sudden and unexpected rough movement of the can cause whiplash. Road accidents or any blow to the neck during sports or assault are likely to cause whiplash.

Symptoms of whiplash occur gradually after the injury. The neck pain is likely to be acute. There may be swelling in the neck and muscle spasms. Headache accompanied with dizziness, buzzing noise in the ears and at times hazy vision are symptoms of whiplash. In rare cases, there is loss of function relating to the neck.


Depending on the severity of the case treatment can either be at home or with the help of a doctor. Applying ice on the affected part will bring down the swelling and the pain. Do not apply ice directly on the skin as this might lead to frostbite; use a towel or some cloth in between the ice and your skin. You can use a pain reliever to help reduce the pain, in case of continuing pain consult your doctor.

The physician may suggest neck massages and heat therapy. Bed rest is needed for acute cases. A cervical collar is suggested to minimize the motion of the neck. Minimal activity or nil activity for the neck is suggested till it heals thoroughly. Whiplash is an unpredictable condition and can occur to anybody, all you can do is try and prevent the condition. Suggested below are few prevention norms:

  • The seat headrest should be at the appropriate height while driving, the upper tips of your ears should coincide with mid-headrest.
  • Wear your seat belts while driving.
  • Ensure you keep your neck safe while taking part in any sport involving physical contact.
  • Learn to position your neck correctly and never use your neck as a stand.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 18, 2017