Whiplash

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Whiplash Injuries - Head & Neck
Whiplash, or neck strain, is caused when injury to the soft tissue of the neck occurs. The damage occurs following sudden extension and flexion of the neck and can include intervertebral joint damage, damage to disks and ligaments, cervical muscles and nerve root damage.
CAUSES
Automobile accidents
Contact sports injuries/skiing
Repetitive stress
Blow to the head from a fall or punch
Child abuse (shaking)
Most injuries are to soft tissues such as the disks, muscles and ligaments and cannot be seen on standard X-rays. Specialized tests, such as computed tomography scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be necessary.
TREATMENT
Pain medications
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Antidepressants
Muscle relaxants
Cervical collar (usually worn for 2 to 3 weeks)
Range of motion exercises
Physical therapy
Cervical traction
Supplemental heat application
SYMPTOMS
Neck pain
Stiff neck
Muscle and ligament damage (myofacial damage)
Headaches
Dizziness
Burning or prickling sensations
Difficulty with concentration and memory
Neck pain and stiffness
Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
Low back pain
Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
Ringing in the ears or blurred vision
Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue
CERVICAL HYPEREXTENSION/HYPERFLEXION INJURIES
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