Your Auto Accident / Whiplash Pain Explained

The rapid motion of the neck during an auto crash can result in a number of injuries. Many of these injuries are impossible to see on x-rays or MRI. Even though there may be minimal damage to your car, you can still sustain whiplash. In fact, even at low speeds, occupants can experience severe whiplash.

Whiplash injuries can be compounded if your head restraint is too low or if your head is turned at the time of injury.

Your head is meant to bend either forwards and backwards or to turn from side to side. But your head is not meant to turn sideways and tilt backwards simultaneously. If you gently move your head forward or backwards, you will notice a wide range of motion. However, if you gently turn your head to the side and try to slowly move your head backwards and forwards, you will notice that there is very little range of motion or flexibility.

Most whiplash injuries involve soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments and discs). However, there can also be fractures and rim lesions.

cervical ligament injuries

Whiplash Referred Pain Patterns

The most common facets to be injured are at C2/C3 and C5/C6 which frequently results in referred pain at the locations indicated. As a result of facet joint injury, whiplash patients frequently encounter, headaches, back and shoulder pain in addition to neck pain.


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