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Whiplash: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments


A neck injury caused due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, such as the cracking of a whip.

Whiplash affects an estimated 3.8 people per 1000, prevalent in 1.2% of the general population consisting of 1.3% males and 1.0% females. (1)
- Self-diagnosable
- Acute or Chronic
- Treatment options available
- Lab tests and imaging may be required
Whiplash is usually confined to the spine and describes hyperflexion and hyperextension. It may heal within a few weeks; however, in some cases, the pain can continue for months or years.


1. Auto accidents
2. Physical abuse or assault
3. Contact sports
4. Damage to muscle, tendons, and bands of tissue.
People may experience:
1. Neck pain
2. Stiffness
3. Headaches
4. Loss of range of motion in the neck
5. Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back, and arms
6. Fatigue
7. Dizziness
8. Blurred vision
9. Depression
10. Memory problems
11. Irritability
12. Sleep disturbances
13. Difficulty concentrating


Self-care: Icing the neck, resting, massage, using a neck brace or collar, and applying moist heat are recommended.
Therapy: Physical therapy with range-of-motion exercises, and acupuncture advisable.
Medications: Certain painkillers, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory drugs are helpful to reduce pain and swelling.
Specialists: Consult an orthopedic for other concerns. In extreme cases, surgery may be required. mfine provides a comprehensive treatment plan for optimum health.

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