Inter Law – whiplash information

There are a few causes of whiplash, what are they and how can they be prevented or treated.

Whiplash causes pain, stiffness and loss of movement in the neck. Other symptoms can include headaches, muscle spasms, and pain in the shoulders or arms.

The most common cause of whiplash is after motor vehicle accidents. This will occur when the head is jolted violently or suddenly during a collision.

Whiplash can also happen by a blow to the head or through long-term repetitive damage to the neck.

Car manufacturers are increasingly designing their vehicles to prevent whiplash effects in the event of a crash. In fact most manufacturers claim that many whiplash cases caused by car accidents could have been avoided if headsets were adjusted properly.
Correctly adjusting the headrests in your vehicle can restrict some of the backwards movement of the head in a crash although it is difficult to prevent the head moving forwards or sideways.

If you are the victim of whiplash apply an ice pack soon after the injury occurs, to help reduce swelling. Do not apply ice directly onto your skin. Use a towel to wrap the ice to provide a protective barrier. Apply the ice for around 10-30 minutes at a time.

Take a painkiller such as paracetamol or an anti-inflammatory painkiller such as ibuprofen, which will reduce pain and reduce swelling. Always follow the instructions and ask your pharmacist for advice if you have any other conditions or if you are taking any other medication.

At first you may need to rest your neck, but as the pain eases, try to exercise your neck as much as possible. Gradually try to increase the range of neck movements and continue with normal activities where you can.

You will also find it helpful to support your head with a good pillow when you sleep, and to have good posture (body shape) – walk with your back and neck straight and sit upright.

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