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What Is Whiplash And What Should You Do If You Sustain Whiplash?

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If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident (MVA) the most common injury sustained is whiplash. 

What is whiplash? Whiplash is the term used when there is a rapid acceleration and deceleration of the neck and upper back. When you are rear-ended your head is forced into full extension and then comes forward into a fully flexed position. As the discs, joints and soft tissues are forced back and forward they undergo significant stress and injury can occur. Whiplash injuries vary from very mild to severe and can give rise to many symptoms.

What should you do if you sustain whiplash? Initially you may not have any pain but a few hours later or even the next day, you may find that your neck is sore and stiff. At this point it is a good idea to see your family physician and ask for a referral to a physiotherapist or chiropractor. You should also contact your insurance company and ask them about your accident benefits package ("Section B"). This will pay for needed therapy, among other benefits.

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