Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully thrown back and forth. It is most commonly caused by car accidents, but can also be caused by sports injuries, falls, or other types of trauma. While whiplash is usually considered a minor injury, it can have serious long-term effects on the body, including neurological problems. The most common type of neurological problem associated with whiplash is direct pressure on nerve roots or irritation of nerve roots.
This type of injury is classified as a type IV or V injury, according to Croft's qualification for whiplash injuries. Research has shown that whiplash can cause damage to the cervical spine, which can lead to long-term pain and stiffness. In addition to direct pressure on nerve roots, recent studies have also found that people who suffer from whiplash are at an increased risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI). While most people recover from whiplash within a few months with medical treatment, some people may experience chronic pain and stiffness for years after the initial injury.
The long-term effects of whiplash can vary from person to person. A 2001 study published in Neurology found that 8% of whiplash victims were unable to return to their normal activity levels more than a year after the accident due to pain and stiffness caused by whiplash. In cases where the underlying accident was caused by someone else's negligence, the whiplash victim may be entitled to financial compensation for their suffering.