What causes whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury to the ligaments and tendons in the neck when it is moved forwards, backwards or sideways, often as the result of a car crash.
After an accident, the symptoms of whiplash may not be felt until around 6-12 hours later and may become worse over the following days.
Whiplash accounts for more than three quarters of all injury claims after road accidents.
As well as traffic accidents, blows to the head, particularly during sports such as boxing or rugby, or a slip or fall that causes the head to suddenly jolt backwards can also cause whiplash.
Signs and symptoms of whiplash may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Worsening of pain with neck movement
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
- Tenderness or pain in shoulder, upper back or arms
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems