What is Whiplash?

The term “whiplash” is used to describe a variety of neck injuries that often occur in rear-end crashes. The most common of these involve muscle strain and tearing of soft tissue which can result in, among other things, pain, stiffness, loss of range of motion and headaches. Other injuries may include nerve damage, disc damage and, in the most severe cases, ruptures of ligaments in the neck and fractures of the cervical vertebrae. Nerve damage, which can occur even when other injuries are mild, is probably responsible for long-term symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness and ringing in the ears.

Neck distortion resulting from sudden movement of the head relative to the torso is believed to explain most whiplash. Specifically, hyperextension of the neck, or rearward bending beyond its normal range of motion, likely causes many injuries. People can experience severe crashes with no neck injury if there is little or no movement of the head relative to the torso.

However, experimental and field studies suggest that even slight neck bending that falls well short of hyperextension can cause nerve damage. One hypothesis is that such damage is caused by motion of adjacent neck vertebrae during a crash.[1]  Another hypothesis is that it is caused by fluctuation in spinal fluid pressure arising from neck distortions.[2]

If you or a loved one have sustained a whiplash injury, consult a doctor or visit an emergency room immediately. Follow your doctor’s instructions and ask about all the necessary testing, including MRI scans, CT scans if your pain is not resolving.

Call an Experienced Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyer

It is also essential that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your case. The lawyers at Curran & Desharnais, P.C. are experienced in working with top medical experts to evaluate claims and in getting compensation for injury victims.

Because a Statute of Limitations applies to your case, you may have a limited timeframe to file your case. It is essential that you act immediately to protect your rights. Contact Curran & Desharnais, P.C. at 781-618-3197 for your free legal consultation.


[1] Ono, K. and Kaneoka, K. 1997. Motion analysis of human cervical vertebrae during low speed rear impacts by the simulated sled. Proceedings of the 1997 International IRCOBI Conference on the Biomechanics of Impact, 223-37. Bron, France: International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Impact.

[2] Svensson, M.Y.; Aldman, B.; Hansson, H.A.; Lovsund, P.; Seeman, T.; Suneson, A.; and Ortengren, T. 1993. Pressure effects in the spinal canal during whiplash extension motion: a possible cause of injury to the cervical spinal ganglia. Proceedings of the 1993 International IRCOBI Conference on the Biomechanics of impact, 189-200.

Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Personal Injury, Premises Liability, Trucking Accidents, Uncategorized

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