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Whiplash Injury is usually caused as a result of a road traffic accident in a car. The injury which can affect the bones, discs, muscles, nerves or tendons or the neck occurs when an unexpected force suddenly jerks the head backwards or sideways, followed by a reflect contraction in the opposite direction. Swelling and inflammation occur due to damage caused by the rapid movement which leads to pressure being placed on the nerves. Damage to the bones in the neck is rare.
Whiplash symptoms may appear immediately following an accident or they may not develop until hours, days, or even weeks after the injury as pressure being placed on the nerves as a result of tissue swelling which causes muscle spasms, which results in the pain and stiffness often experienced.
Whiplash symptoms are varied and may include all or some of the following:
Pain or stiffness to the neck, back, jaw, shoulders, or arms
Dizziness or balance problems
Numbness, pins and needles, burning or prickling in shoulders, arms or hands
Nausea or vomiting
Ringing in the ears
The psychological effect of whiplash can include memory loss, concentration impairment, nervousness, irritability, sleep disturbances, tiredness and depression.
For the majority of people suffering a whiplash injury the symptoms rarely last longer than six months.
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