Whiplash: Episode 69
In this episode: Whiplash is the mechanism of injury not a diagnosis. There are Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD), and they are the much more common, strain, sprain, disk issues, fracture etc…
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Brief overview of the episode:
The biggest take away from this podcast is that we want people to understand that whiplash is a mechanism of injury not a diagnosis. Whiplash is defined as; the head moves backward then forwards suddenly. This is most common with a rear-ended motor vehicle accident (MVA). But can also happen during sport, a fall, amusement part rides or really anything where the head changes quickly. Whiplash will result in what are known as whiplash associated diagnosis (WAD).
WAD will include sprains, strain, disk issues, fractures, concussion, neural issues and any other possible cervical related diagnosis. Most individuals will experience a delay in symptoms following the accident of about 24 hours. The immediate fight or flight response typical causes people to feel Ok immediately following an MVA. In many cases people will wake up the following morning with neck pain, stiffness and ROM loss. There can be headache as well as radicular symptoms with more sever cases.
If a fracture is suspected or you have immediate numbness or tingling in the extremities please do not delay and head right to the emergency room. It is extremely important to rule out fractures as soon as possible. As TV and movies have shown over the years, a cervical collar has been prescribed to most people following a whiplash related injury.
What the evidence is finding is that immobilization is one of the worst things you can do when you have a stiff, sore and painful neck (when there is no fracture or neurological injury). The best home treatment is to move the neck within your pain free range and work to increase you range of motion as able.
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