Whiplash injury is a term given to a traumatic event that causes the head to suddenly whip in one direction and then recoil in the other direction example in a traffic accident. The most common cause of Whiplash is that of a motor vehicle accident whereby one vehicle was struck by another from behind.
What Is Whiplash Injury?
Whiplash injury occurs when there is a sudden jolt to the neck and head for example in a car accident, which causes either a forward, backward, or sideways jilt or whip of the head that is beyond the normal range of motion.
Causes of Whiplash
As such a trauma is suddenly, the occupant in the car is unprepared; this means the muscles are relaxed, thus allowing more forces on the ligaments, disc and joints. It is important to note the pain caused by Whiplash is really significant not to mention structural damage than can occur.
Whiplash Injury Facts
As mentioned above, the most common cause for whiplash is a motor vehicle accident. Rear-end collision is the most common result of Whiplash injury. Nevertheless it can also occur as a result of a collision in any direction. Other causes for whiplash injury include amusement park rides for example roller coasters, assault involving being shoved, punched or shaken and also from a fall of significant impact.
For most people who suffer whiplash pain fortunately, they will recover by six months after a whiplash injury. However, a small percentage of people continue to have pain.
Initial recovery within 3 to 4 month is common. This is the fast recovery phase, after which recovery slows markedly. By 2 years, essential all patients would have reached the maximum improvement. About 18% continued to have significant pain 2 years after the accident, most of them tend to be older! Their pain began sooner after the accident when they had their head twisted to the either side at the time of the impact. It is also found that patients who has a history of arthritis, neck pain or headaches before the accident did not do well.
Neck Pain, Whiplash and Legal Implication
Whiplash injury during a vehicle accident in any litigious society, is fairly likely to end up in a lawsuit, insurance and all that. Common sense would tell us the greater the pain and impairment, the larger the legal settlement or compensation might be. Rarely, patients may exaggerate their symptoms. A bigger question though is whether the potential for money from a legal settlement can unconsciously worsen or prolong the pain. This is called “secondary gain” is unconscious, not fraudulent.
The effects of lawsuits and the outcome of whiplash syndromes
Scientifically personal injury litigation does not adversely effect outcome. In a study conducted in 1983 by Drs. Norris and Watt out of 61 patients who were treated for whiplash injuries, 41 of whom had personal injury lawsuits. No change in symptoms after claims were settled. About ten years later, long after litigation had settled, only 12% had completely recovered, and 48% had pain which interfered with normal daily life.
How To Prevent Whiplash Injury?
To help prevent whiplash injury in a car accident, headrests should be adjusted to the proper height for each person in the car and seat belts with shoulder straps should be worn.
Treatment Options Available
Medical and Surgical Treatments
Accurate diagnosis must be the basis for the best treatment for each patient. It is most important to consider the best based on each patient’s condition and not the latest procedure, the newest medication, the smallest micro-surgery or arthroscopic surgery, Scientific evidence is the basis and not based on news magazines or marketing on television.
Treatments for whiplash injury include:
- Ice and/or heat treatments,
- Cervical collar for usually for about 2 weeks and medications,
- Physical Therapy,
- Occupational Therapy,
- Motion Exercises,
- Electrical Stimulation,
- Cervical Traction
What’s The Cure For Whiplash Pain?
At Singapore Sports and Orthopedic Clinic, we pride ourselves on making correct and complete diagnosis and recommending our patients the most effective treatment for their unique problems. Our patients and our reputation mean too much for that. So make an appointment with us today. The sooner you start seeking consultation with our doctor, the sooner you’re rid of your whiplash pain.
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