Friday, April 10, 2009

What is whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck caused by the neck bending forcibly forward and then backward, or vice versa. The injury usually involves the muscles, ligaments, facet joints and nerves in the neck and in severe cases the discs can be damaged and the bones bruised or broken.
What causes whiplash?
Most whiplash injuries are the result of a collision involving sudden acceleration or deceleration. Many whiplash injuries occur when a person is involved in a rear end or head on motor vehicle collision, or as a result of a sports injury, particularly during contact sport. In a rear end collision, the neck is whipped backwards then forwards and, conversely, in a head on collision, the neck is whipped forwards and then backwards.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
Symptoms usually develop shortly after the incident but may have a delayed onset of a few hours or up to a couple of days. The number and severity of symptoms vary between individuals as do recovery periods. Typical symptoms include :-
• neck pain

• neck stiffness

• shoulder pain

• low back pain

• dizziness

• pain in the arm and/or hand

• numbness in the arm and/or hand

• ringing in ears (tinnitus)

• blurred vision

• concentration or memory problems

• irritability

• sleeplessness

• tiredness

• difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)

• jaw pain on chewing
How is whiplash diagnosed?
A medical history will be taken and physical examination performed and additional diagnostic procedures may include :-
• x-ray

• computed tomography scan -(CT scan) - a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross sectional images of the body including the bones, muscles, fat and organs.

• magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan) - a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed image of organs and structures within the body

• nerve conduction studies - to assess for nerve damage if a disc or bone outgrowth is pressing on a nerve root and causing arm pain, pins and needles, numbness or weakness. Treatment for whiplashSpecific treatment for whiplash will be determined by the treating doctor and the extent of the injury suffered. This may be based upon :-• age, overall health and medical history of the person injured.

• extent of the injury

• tolerance to medications, procedures or therapies

• expectations for the course of the injury

• preferences of the injured partyCommon treatment may include:-• ice application for the first twenty four hours

• medication - anti-inflammatory tablets, gels and muscle relaxants

• heat

• neck mobilisation

• facet joint injections

• surgery - in extreme cases .
The use of a cervical collar has recently been called into question as a mode of treatment.
Those individuals who continue to maintain a healthy active routine after a whiplash injury and a specific exercise regime to improve movement and flexibility have been shown to have a better recovery. Also read; (http://ajali-traumaclass.blogspot.com/2009/03/athari-za-kutofunga-mkanda-whiplash.html)

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This blog gives information about accidents-vehicles,motorcycles,bycycles etc,also highlights the suffering of those involved in various accidents. It gives counselling to the accidents victims and information as to where they can get assistance be it legal or humanitarian.
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