Whiplash Injury

This is a soft tissue injury to the muscles and ligaments in the back of your neck, frequently associated with low-velocity rear-end motor vehicle collisions.

Whiplash, also called neck sprain or strain, is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck. It is usually caused by sudden extension (backward movement of the neck) and flexion (forward movement of the neck). This type of injury is often the result of rear-end car crashes. Severe whiplash can also include injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots.

 Diagnosis

The diagnosis is made when the Wisconsin Bone & Joint doctor reviews your medical history, symptoms and utilizes diagnostic tools, such as X-rays to see the extent of your injury.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the back of your neck
  • Muscle spasm
  • Neck stiffness
  • The normal Cervical spine has a curve (called lordosis) in the shape of the letter “C.”

Causes

Most commonly from being subjected to a rear-end motor vehicle collision
Any sudden hyperextension movement of the neck, followed by hyperflexion
A Cervical Spine subjected to a Whiplash Injury frequently loses the normal “C” curve.

Treatment

Nonsurgical Treatment

This condition is always treated non-surgically.

Intermittent use of a soft foam cervical collar, medication for pain and inflammation, and physical therapy exercises are all useful in diminishing pain and stiffness and regaining function.

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