Whiplash injury: 2% are permanently disabled

Whiplash and whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) represent a range of injuries to the neck caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck. Whiplash is commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, usually when the vehicle has been hit in the rear; however, the injury can be sustained in many other ways, including falls from bicycles or horses.

Most cases of whiplash injury occur as the result of rear-end vehicle collisions at speeds of less than 14 mph.

Patients present with:

- neck pain and stiffness
- occipital headache
- thoracolumbar back pain and upper-limb pain
- paraesthesia

Over 66% make a full recovery and 2% are permanently disabled.

Whiplash injury. G. Bannister et al. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery - British Volume, Vol 91-B, Issue 7, 845-850. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.91B7.22639

Image source: A side collision in Tokyo, Japan. Wikipedia, Shuets Udono, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License.

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