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What are the kinds of whiplash injuries?

You were just driving, paying attention to where you were headed when you were hit by another driver. Suddenly, an afternoon of plans becomes an afternoon of pain and suffering as you head to the hospital for treatment.

What kinds of injuries can happen in a car crash?

There are a few kinds of injuries that can take place during a car accident. One, cervical hypertension, takes place when a slow-moving vehicle is struck from behind. The body moves forward at a rapid pace, but the head does not move as quickly. That results in the neck being hyperextended and then snapping back into place. This is better known as whiplash.

Another kind of whiplash is when the car a person's inside stops suddenly. This rapid deceleration leads to the head being thrown forward, flexing the spine. The chin does stop how far the head can move forward, but it can result in whiplash when the head snaps back into the original position thanks to recoil.

Whiplash disorders can be rated on a scale based on symptoms. For instance, those with a Grade 4 whiplash injury may complain about neck pain and have a fracture or dislocation of the cervical spine. Someone with a Grade 1 injury, on the other hand, may have some complaints about the neck but no physical signs of injury.

It's normal for those who wear seat belts to have a higher risk of whiplash injuries. Despite this, wearing a seat belt is still recommended, because it prevents other, more serious, injuries. If you are diagnosed with this condition after your crash, remember that the other party may need to cover your expenses.

Source: Patient, "Whiplash and Cervical Spine Injury," accessed June 22, 2016

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