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What is whiplash?

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Most people in California may have heard references to whiplash at different times but they may not really understand what it is. Spine-Health indicates that motor vehicle accidents may be one of the most common causes of a whiplash injury, especially if the accident involved one vehicle being hit by another from behind. When this happens, a person's head may suddenly jerk back and then forward again. It is in this motion that the whiplash injury may occur.

WebMD explains that whiplash may sometimes be called neck strain or neck sprain but the symptoms associated with it may extend beyond the neck. When a person has sustained whiplash, damage may be done to several areas in the neck and spine including the roots of the nerves, muscles, ligaments, discs and joints between the vertebrae. Pain may be mild or extreme and may be felt through the neck, shoulder, upper back and head. Some people even have a tingling, numbness or weakness through their upper limbs.

Because symptoms of whiplash are not always immediately present, people who have been in vehicle accidents should be aware of what may signal a whiplash injury for a few days after. Other symptoms include problems with memory, concentration, lack of energy or increased fatigue and even sleeping issues.

Care for a whiplash injury may involve some light movement to stimulate blood flow but also management of the pain as necessary. Seeking treatment early on is advised so that whiplash does not go undiagnosed and allowed to advance unnecessarily.

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