People injured in a motor vehicle accident sometimes experience a strain of their neck muscles and the surrounding soft tissue, commonly referred to as whiplash. Anyone who has had such an injury knows neck muscles can be very tender, and neck movement can be quite limited.
The injury occurs most often when a vehicle is hit from the rear or the side, causing a sharp movement of the head and neck. Research shows that successful whiplash treatment requires patient cooperation and active efforts to resume daily activity.
Whiplash symptoms include headache, dizziness, loss of mobility in the neck and shoulders, upper back pain, neck pain and even chest pain.
Do not ignore whiplash type injuries. Get yourself examined if you experience any of these symptoms. Health care professionals are alert for the signs of more serious neck trauma.
The good news is that most whiplash injuries are not serious and will heal fully. Many people experience little disruption in their activities and are able to get on with their daily lives.
Did You Know?
Whiplash can occur from many causes, not just car accidents. For example, it can happen from falling downstairs or having something fall on your head. It can also happen when tackled or bodychecked while taking part in contact sports.
Whiplash can also occur at relatively low impact. For example, a hit in a car accident at less than 10km/hour can cause whiplash. Pain, stiffness and other symptoms of Grade 1 (tender muscles) or Grade 2 (limited neck movement) whiplash typically start within the first two days after an accident.
Properly adjusting the height of your car headrest will help prevent whiplash injury in an accident. In an ideal adjustment, the top of your head should be in line with the top of the headrest and there should be no more than 2 to 5 cm between the back of your head and the headrest.