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A whiplash injury is a strain/sprain injury of the neck. The intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and nerves may all be damaged. Although most commonly occurring after a motor vehicle accident, whiplash injuries may also occur during falls, blows to the head or any impact that causes your head to jerk forward or backward. The sudden force may overstretch and/or tear the soft tissue in the neck.

Did you know? … That even a minor collision with a vehicle traveling at 10 km/h may result in whiplash?

The symptoms of whiplash may not appear for hours or days after an injury, and they may include neck pain or stiffness, headaches, pain in the shoulders or between the shoulder blades, jaw pain, low back pain, pain or numbness in the arms or hands, dizziness, ringing in the ears, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, irritability, sleep disturbances, or fatigue.

Treatment for whiplash includes: chiropractic care, physiotherapy, massage therapy, gentle exercises, and traction. Despite previous research, current treatment involves return to gentle, active movement as soon as tolerable. Medical management may include NSAID drugs and prescription medications in conjunction with manual therapies in order to help reduce pain and inflammation. During the first 24 – 72 hours after the injury, ice is also recommended.

For more information, discuss your treatments with a healthcare provider

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