Whiplash injury is the most common type of injury sustained following a car accident. It occurs when the ligaments and tendons in the neck are stretched and strained due to the sudden, vigorous movement of the head backwards, forwards, or sideways.

In severe whiplash cases, the spine or spinal cord may also be damaged. In severe car accidents, first aid may be necessary.

Most whiplash strains are caused by car accidents where the car is hit from behind or from the side by another vehicle. Low velocity impacts (minor car accidents that occur at very low speeds) can also cause a whiplash injury.

Whiplash symptoms

The most frequent complaints among whiplash sufferers are:

These symptoms appear within the first couple of days after the accident and can take anything between a few days to a few weeks to pass. However, as with all strain injuries the pain can last up to several months.

The extent of a whiplash injury depends on factors such as the weight of the cars, the angle of impact, the position of the front seats at the time of the accident, etc.

What can I do to relieve whiplash?

If the pain in your neck, or any other part of your body, persists beyond 4-6 weeks, or becomes worse despite taking some form of normal medication, you should consult your GP.