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Whiplash injury or whiplash associated disorder is the official name for the constellation of symptoms affecting the neck that are triggered by an accident with an acceleration-deceleration mechanism. The occurrence of whiplash injury it typical in motor vehicle accident specifically with an impact from behind and from the flank, but it can also result from other injuries like diving.
Research in Europe shows that the prevalence of neck pain caused by car accidents has risen from 3.4% per lac in 1970 - 1974 to 40.2% per lac in 1994 - 1994.
  • Pain in neck, shoulders and potentially in arms
  • Headache, particularly in occipital area, sometimes radiating to forehead above both eyes.
  • Restricted mobility of the neck as a result of neck stiffness immediately after accident.
  • Dizziness, visual impairment, nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, deafness, paresthesia in hands, localized spasm, depression may be there.

Acute stage is up to 3wks after the injury. Thereafter most of the symptoms starts disappearing with conservative management. If the symptoms persists after 3 months, it is considered as chronic whiplash syndrome.
  • Grade 0: No complaints in neck with physical signs
  • Grade 1 neck pain: No symptoms indicating serious pathology and minimal influence on daily activities.
  • Grade 2 neck pain: No symptoms indicating serious pathology but having influence on daily activities.
  • Grade 3 neck pain: No symptoms indicating serious pathology, presence of neurological disorders such as decreased reflexes, muscle weakness or decreased sensory function.
  • Grade 4 neck pain: Indication of serious underlying pathology such as fracture , myelopathy or cancer / neoplasm
  • Conservative management: Rest, analgesics, muscle relaxants, cervical coller
This therapy is only considered after a period of 3 to 6months because in that time period the clinical signs have sufficiently stabilized.
  • Cervical Epidural Steroid injection
  • Cervical intra-articular Facet joint block
  • Cervical facet joint denervation with Radio-frequency ablation.

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