A passenger in a motor vehicle in a rear end collision may suffer a whiplash injury to the neck, where the impact forces the person’s head back and then forward at great speed. This can overstretch the neck and upper back region, resulting in a strain or tear to the supporting ligaments, muscles and discs, and even irritating the nerves. The common symptoms of a whiplash injury are pain, stiffness and headache. Recovery depends on the individual and extent of the injury, but can take at least three weeks.
Treatment options may include:
- Pain-killing medication
- Anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants
- Icepacks for three days
- Gentle mobilisation exercises
- Gentle soft tissue mobilisation (massage) from a physiotherapist
- If pain persists, an X-ray examination may be required