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What is Whiplash?

In the event of a nasty accident involving speed, a spinal injury referred to as whiplash can occur. Whip-lash is caused by a sudden head movement, and damages the connective tissues, bones and muscles around the neck – the upper spinal area.

Whiplash is a non-medical term used to describe the sometimes unbearable neck pain following an injury to the soft tissues of your neck (specifically the ligaments, tendons, and muscles). It is caused by an uncharacteristic motion or force applied to your neck which causes movement beyond the neck’s normal range of motion.

Whiplash is a common injury that happens in motor vehicle accidents, sporting activities, accidental falls, and assault. The most common cause of whip lash is however associated with car accidents. The speed of a vehicle can be as low as 15 miles per hour for there to be the production of enough energy to cause whiplash in the motor vehicle’s occupants – even if they are wearing a seat belt.

Prevention is the most effective way to avoid this injury. So always wear your seat belt and adjust your headrest to the proper height when driving. The middle of the headrest should be even with the upper tips of your ears. Seat belts with shoulder harnesses as well as headrests may not reduce the risk of cervical strain but should be used in all motor vehicles because they reduce the risk of death and serious injury.

Some car manufacturers like Volvo and Saab have as part of their passive safety features headrests that will flick forward in the event of a serious head on crash. This helps to minimise the severity of whiplash.We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is Whiplash?’!

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