Whiplash injury implies a hyperextension of the head upon the shoulders followed by motor vehicle accident, usually associated rear end collisions in a motor vehicle. It can happen with severe fall due to skiing accident, driving accident, and other traumas.
Symptoms can be complex and multifunctional including neck/shoulder pain, headache, visual aberration, tendonitis, jaw pain, neck stiffness, and low back pain. Pain is associated with sleep disturbances and mood disorders in long-term cases.
A careful examination of neck, homological exam, X-rays of the cervical spine, in selective patients. It may be required to CT and MRI of c-spine to rule out disc herniation and other bony trauma.
In mild cases, patient is treated conservatively with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, ice and heat massage, and soft neck collar, along with physical therapy. Most of the symptoms subside in 4-8 weeks, with non-invasive treatment. In some cases patients benefit from occipital nerve block for headaches in the back of the head. For neck pain, patient may require facet joint injection. If patient complains of pain radiating in arm due to disc problems, patient may need epidural steroid injection. Myofacial spasm can be treated with stretching exercises along with possible trigger point injection.
Sciatica is one of the most common diagnoses assigned to patients with low back pain. It usually happens in age groups of mid-30s to mid-40s and is associated with lifting heavy objects.