Whiplash is an injury to the neck caused by rapid acceleration/deceleration in the neck. It most commonly occurs in sports or motor vehicle accidents where the head is either thrust violently forwards or backwards upon impact. As the head is propelled violently forwards/backwards on the neck, it stretches and causes damage to the surrounding muscles/ligaments/tendons. Depending on the severity, pain will be felt in the neck and shoulders worsening over the 2-3 days following the injury.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Headaches – typically arising from the neck and travelling up to the head.
- Visual disturbances.
- Pain with neck movements.
- Potential radiation of pain to shoulders and arms.
- Restricted neck movement.