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Whiplash ?

🔸A sudden acceleration/deceleration force to the body causing forceful forwards, backwards or sideways motion resulting in pain and other symptoms is called Whiplash Injury.

🔸Injuries- Rear end collision , Road traffic incident, fall from a height , work injuries etc

🔸Improvement is seen within 6-12 weeks for 40 % of population

🔸Full recovery is estimated for 50% of population by one year.

🔸Sudden movement causes a shock in neuromuscular system leading to following


  1. Neck pain - most common

  2. Headache - associated with neck pain

  3. Shoulder/arm pain

  4. Muscle spasms

  5. Pins and needles ( nerve symptoms )

  6. Fatigue/tiredness

  7. Poor memory

  8. Nausea/feeling sick/vomiting

  9. Jaw pain

  10. Loss of hearing function

  11. Tinnitus ( ringing in ears)


🔸Depending on nature of injury, a thorough assessment by healthcare professional is advised to rule out serious injury

🔸X-ray might be advised if fracture is suspected, soft collar might be suggested in some cases


  1. Education- Patient education is vital in Whiplash

  2. Physiotherapy- Exercises, manual therapy, functional rehab , reassurance, self management advice.

  3. Medications- Oral over the counter medications or stronger pain medications can be suggested

  4. Psychotherapy- CBT, talking therapies, etc can be offered to cope with stress, anxiety or post traumatic stress.

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