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Avoiding Anti-Whiplash Hysteria With Whiplash Myths Revealed Part Two

Man holding neck after accident
14th May 2014
In compensation for whiplash as a result of actual head, neck or shoulder injury caused in a typical rear end collision.

It is estimated that there could also be a further 4 in 10 car collision victims who suffer the symptoms of whiplash in silence rather than make themselves known for fear of being accused of making false or unnecessary claims. Here we find a most common myth, which states that any neck strain injuries incurred can be dealt with by rest, muscle sprays, etc. The long-term problems of chronic pain and other debilitating symptoms as a result of real tissue, muscle or nerve damage cannot be underestimated and a suspected whiplash injury needs a proper examination by a qualified GP.

More incredible still is the myth, which states that only a direct impact to the neck will cause any real injury. When a car is involved in front, rear or even side angle collision, the force of the impact, no matter how slight, can force the neck to rapidly jerk backward and forward, (or sideways in an angle collision) and is stretched far beyond the normal range of motion.

The neck muscles and ligaments will be actually over-stretched twice without recovery time in-between the two sets of exaggerated motion. With the close proximity of the neck muscles, ligaments, vertebrae, nerves, blood vessels and the cervical cord to the brain, a chain reaction can often be triggered, which can cause injury within the skull.

Another dangerous myth asserts that whiplash injury is unlikely to have taken place because a seat belt was worn. While it’s certainly true that seat belts can and do protect the body from being physically thrown through the windscreen or out of the vehicle itself and is responsible for saving life, the strapping arrangement will not protect the neck from excessive movement on impact.

In reality, the only real in car protection to minimise the worst effects of whiplash injury is a correctly positioned head restraint, which is adjusted to be high enough above the ears and very close to the back of the head.