Whiplash is a non-medical term used to describe neck pain which has resulted from a soft tissue injury to the neck. It is a common injury that is caused by a traumatic incident such as a rear end car accident, where in the neck is extended beyond its typical range of motion causing an abrupt forward backward movement to the spine. This form of injury can cause significant pain and disability.
Whiplash Symptoms and Diagnosis
Symptoms of whiplash can include neck pain and stiffness, spasms, headaches, shoulder pain and stiffness, jaw pain, ringing in the ear, backpain, dizziness, fatigue and a loss of a range of motion in the neck.
If you suspect you may have whiplash your treating doctor can diagnose clinically by a thorough physical exam. The evaluation should include the observation of the your ability to move your head to the left and right, backward and forward and side to side. Your doctor will try to detect areas of pain and tension by observing and touching the muscles in your neck, head and upper back and shoulders. Strength, sensation and reflect testing should also be undertaken to detect and confirm any problems.
Soft tissues injuries such as whiplash cannot been seen on X-rays. Further specialised imaging such as CT Scans or an MRI may be recommended to ensure the accurate diagnosis of whiplash. However, they are not generally required as a doctor can usually diagnose with the physical exam.
If you have been diagnosed with Whiplash, then your Doctor will likely recommend over the counter pain medication. Additionally, you can attempt the following to minimise your pain;
Physiotherapy – Physiotherapists can determine injury severity, assess joint movement, provide strengthening and stretching exercises and identify limitations and make recommendations for day to day activities.
If your whiplash injury has an impact on your future, get in touch with one of our TPD lawyers today to see how we can assist with a compensation claim to minimise the impact on your life.
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