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Whiplash is an injury to your neck. It is caused by your neck bending forcibly forward and then backward, or vice versa. The injury, which is poorly understood, usually involves the muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons in your neck.
Most whiplash injuries result from a collision that includes sudden acceleration or deceleration. Many whiplash injuries occur when you are involved in a rear-end automobile collision. They also happen as a result of a sports injury, particularly during contact sports.
Following are the most common symptoms of whiplash. However, you may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of whiplash may resemble other conditions and medical problems. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for whiplash may include the following. Many whiplash injuries include damage to soft tissue that can't be seen on X-rays:
Your health care provider will determine specific treatment for whiplash, based on:
Treatment may include:
While most people who experience a whiplash injury recover within a few weeks to a few months, you may have persistent pain for several months or longer.
If your symptoms have not improved within the time frame your health care provider suggested, you should let him or her know. Also, if your symptoms get worse or you get new symptoms, tell your provider.
Whiplash injury is poorly understood, but usually involves the muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons in your neck.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your health care provider:
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