Whiplash

A whiplash is a neck sprain that occurs when your head is jolted quickly backwards and forwards in a whip-like movement. This can cause neck muscles and ligaments to strain more than normal. Whiplash neck sprains are common. The injury most commonly occurs after a sudden impact like a road traffic accident.

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Symptoms

The most frequent complaints are:

  • Pain
  • Headaches
  • Stiffness in the neck.
  • Other symptoms can include muscle spasms, dizziness or nausea.

The risk of long-term problems is very small and the chances for complete recovery are good. However, whiplash is still a strain injury and, as with other strain injuries, it is not unusual for the pain to last for a few months or even longer.

Symptoms of whiplash do not always appear immediately when the injury occurs. It may take hours for the symptoms to show and they may continue to get worse in the days after the injury. They usually pass after a few days or weeks. Often the pain can flare up from time to time before it goes completely.

Source:  UCLH Website: https://www.uclh.nhs.uk/MSK/Documents/PILs/Whiplash.pdf