Traffic accidents are the most common cause of whiplash injury. Most cases are due to a rear-end collision, in which the head and cervical spine are abruptly and severely flexed and then overextended. However, a whiplash injury of the cervical spine may also occur during sports and recreational accidents.
In most cases, the symptoms of whiplash injury only occur after several hours. They vary considerably between individuals. The symptoms described below occur simultaneously but may also be seen individually. Often the affected individual experiences headaches, dizziness, nausea and a feeling of stiffness and pain in the nape of the neck, radiating to the head and shoulders. Some affected individuals experience impaired vision and sleep disturbances. Neurological deficits are rare.
Degrees of severity
Degrees of severity
A whiplash injury can be assigned to various degrees of severity. This is determined on a scale from 0 to 4 by asking questions of the affected individual. The numbers indicate the following:
0 = no symptoms,
1 = neck stiffness and headaches,
2 = neck stiffness, persistent muscle tension and limited range of head motion,
3 = neurological deficits in addition.
When the degree of severity is 4, this is a severe whiplash injury with pronounced muscle tension, vertebral fractures and sprains.
A whiplash injury is diagnosed and the degree of severity is determined by the doctor after a detailed assessment, thorough anamnesis (medical history) and with the help of imaging procedures.
As a rule, whiplash injury is treated using conservative methods with special physiotherapy for the cervical spine and pain medication. Treatment with an orthosis (neck brace) is often provided in the first few days.
Back to everyday activities: three steps to an Ottobock orthosis
Here you’ll find an overview of all the orthoses and supports that could potentially help you. Take the list with you to your next doctor’s appointment.
Talk to your doctor about which orthosis is best suited to your symptoms and condition. Your doctor can then write you a prescription for the appropriate orthosis.
Take your prescription to a medical supply company. They’ll give you your new orthosis and adjust it to fit your exact body measurements.