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Whiplash

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Alternate meanings: Whiplash (game) is a video game.

Whiplash is the result of impulsive stretching of the spine, often the result of a rear-end collision between cars or trucks. The Quebec Task Force on Whiplash-Associated Disorders defined whiplash as follows:

"Whiplash is an acceleration-deceleration mechanism of energy transfer to the neck. It may result from rear end or side-impact motor vehicle collisions, but can also occur during diving and other mishaps. The impact may result in bony or soft-tissue injuries (whiplash injury), this in turn may lead to a variety of clinical manifestations (Whiplash-Associated Disorders)."

The consequences of whiplash range from mild pain for a few days, to severe disability caused by restricted head movement and persistent pain.

Reliably diagnosing this disorder is difficult, since it is based on the subjective reports of the patient, who must answer questions about pain in movement by the doctor. No clear standard exist to diagnose whiplash, and doctors may resort to using standard tables listing the possible range of motion of the human head. If a patient cannot achieve the full motion, it is probable that the reason is pain or injury caused by the whiplash.

A rising percentage of car accidents result in a refund claim based on whiplash. This is partly due to an increased awareness, but it is likely that the difficulty excluding the diagnosis makes it easy to raise false claims.

Whiplash severity may be divided into four grades:

  • Grade 1: complaints of neck pain, stiffness or tenderness only but no physical signs are by the examining physician.
  • Grade 2: neck complaints and the examining physician finds decreased range of motion and point tenderness in the neck.
  • Grade 3: decreased range of motion plus neurological signs such as decreased deep tendon reflexes, weakness, insomnia and sensory deficits.
  • Grade 4: neck complaints and fracture or dislocation.

Symptom reported by suffers include: ringing or whistling in the ear, headache, deafness, memory loss, dizziness, jaw joint pain and difficulty in swallowing.

The forces required to cause injury to the neck are thought to be less than those required to cause a stress response (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_%28medicine%29)

In general, the term whiplash is preferred more by lawyers than by doctors.

External links

nl:Whiplash

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