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Whiplash-related Injuries - Know the causes and treatments to be cautious

Whiplash injuries and whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) are a range of injuries to the neck caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck. It is a very serious trauma because neck holds...

Whiplash injuries and whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) are a range of injuries to the neck caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck. It is a very serious trauma because neck holds a lot of nerves and a part of the spinal cord. Usually the areas damaged by whiplash are neck, and the mid-back (middle of the spine). The symptoms can appear not only after this injury, but also often are not felt until days afterwards. In most of the cases a complete recovery fro whiplash can take up to three weeks, in some serious cases it will take a year or more and the most serious cases could result into chronic pain and injuries.

This type of trauma most commonly happens during motor vehicle accidents, if a vehicle is hit in the rear. One of the biggest problems is that the crash does not necessarily need to happen at high speed, if an impact was unexpected the whole accident can result into a whiplash injury.

 It can also be sustained from falls from bicycles or horses, slips, falls, blows to the head from an assault, and injuries suffered through participation in sports activities, but the car accidents are the main cause. In many countries the whiplash injuries are the injuries covered by the car insurers. In Canada the research of this widespread issue has gained additional attention from public auto insures.

On April 15, 1995 Spine published a full report done by the Québec Task Force titled Redefining "Whiplash". The Québec Task Force was a task force sponsored by the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec, the public auto insurer in Quebec, Canada. The published report contained recommendations on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of WAD, and later it became base for Guideline on the Management of Claims Involving Whiplash-Associated, the main guide to classifying WAD and guidelines on managing the disorder. The report was later updated in January 2001.

The Grades classified by the Quebec Task Force on Whiplash-associated disorders (WADs) are following:

Grade 0: no neck pain, stiffness, or any physical signs are noticed

Grade 1: complaints of neck pain, stiffness or tenderness only but no physical signs are noted 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, or injury to the spinal cord.

A funny thing is that the second cause of whiplash related injuries is headbanging, an important element of metal culture. Headbanging is process when metal fans and musicians band their heads and shake their hair, you could see it in most of the metal videos. And everyone in this culture is heading towards the most extreme and fast headbanging, so whiplash injuries are a common thing. Still in this case there is no one to sue for the injuries.

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