Whiplash

Definition

Whiplash is an injury resulting from a sudden extension or flexion of the neck. Whiplash can also be termed neck sprain or neck strain or, more technically, cervical acceleration/deceleration trauma. It is most often associated with being struck from behind in a car, although it also occurs during contact sports, falls, or other physical activities. Whiplash may also cause damage to vertebrae, ligaments, cervical muscles, or nerve roots.

Causes and symptoms
Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain and stiffness, shoulder pain and stiffness, lower back pain, headaches in the back of the head, pain, and/or tingling in the hand or arm, dizziness, ringing in the ears and blurred vision. Often the pain associated with whiplash worsens several days following the injury. Some people suffer cognitive or psychological symptoms including difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, memory loss, depression and irritability.
Symptoms of whiplash appear to follow one of two courses. In most people, symptoms will slowly abate within approximately three months. In a smaller proportion of people who experience whiplash, the symptoms become chronic and disability may result.