Whiplash Injury – How to Recognize?

by allan46 on January 20, 2011

Whiplash is a common traumatic condition which leads to the development of different symptoms and problems. This injury develops when a person faces sudden jolt to his neck, especially during a road traffic accident. Whiplash injury results due to stretching of the spinal ligaments or their tear. Think about the snapping of the head forward and then backward suddenly. This rapid motion of the head that usually happens during a road traffic accident would lead to the generation of tear and stretching of the spinal ligaments present at the neck. This is a good thing that whiplash injury is not life threatening. However; there are many things depending upon the extent of injury as well.

 

The symptoms of whiplash injury do not necessarily develop just after trauma. However; in the majority of cases, these symptoms arise within 24 hours of injury.  Early diagnosis and treatment are necessary in order to provide relief and to prevent complications.  A Whiplash injury is recognized by the development of certain symptoms after attaining sudden jolt to the neck in a road traffic accident. Common symptoms of this problem include; neck pain, light-headedness, headache, pain at the lower back, disorientation and temporary loss of memory. Some of the patients develop problems during swallowing and speaking as well.

 

In a whiplash injury, the neck pain is the most common presentation. This pain is felt at the back of the neck, especially during neck movement. In some cases, the neck movement increases the intensity of pain. In some serious conditions, however; a patient may also present with stiffed neck. The real incidence of injury is much important for the diagnosis of whiplash injury. If the trauma is not too much extensive, the condition may be resolved by conservative measures.

 

Most of the patients usually develop the headache at the back of the head after attaining whiplash injury. Almost 10% of the patients use to get blurring of vision that could disappear without getting any treatment. The lower back pain is found in almost 60% of patients, while the loss of memory and poor concentration at work are the variable symptoms which are not found in every case.

 

In conclusion, a whiplash injury could be recognized by the developed of certain specific symptoms like light-headedness, neck and lower back pain, temporary loss of memory, etc. after having sudden jolt of the neck in an accident. The clinical picture of whiplash injury is clear, however; the exact diagnosis could only be established after proper examination and investigations.

 

This article is provided for information purposes only. Please consult a doctor for treatment options. This article is not written by a doctor or checked for accuracy by a physician.

 

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