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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

WhiplashLesi³n por latigazo

Whiplash

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When one car hits another, each person's body is thrown toward the impact, then away from it. This is whiplash. Even at slow speeds, the wrenching force puts stress and strain on the spine, especially the neck. The weight of the head stretches and damages muscles and ligaments, and may pull spinal bones out of line.

Symptoms of Whiplash

A wide array of symptoms can follow an auto accident. Symptoms may appear right away, or may not show up for weeks or even months. An injury may be present even if you don't have symptoms. This is called "hidden" whiplash. If symptoms are present, they may include:

  • Pain, especially in your neck, shoulder, arm, or lower back

  • Arm or leg numbness

  • Stiffness

  • Headache

  • Dizziness

Treating Whiplash

You may be asked to do one or more of the following:

  • Ice the injured area for 24 to 48 hours. Do this for 20 minutes. Repeat 5 times a day.

  • After 48 hours, apply moist heat on the injured area for 20 minutes. Repeat 5 times a day.

  • Wear a cervical collar for as long as recommended.

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2009-07-31T00:00:00-06:00