Injury to the body is caused when one part of the body moves too quickly in relation to another part of the body. In whiplash, the head and torso are moving in different directions, resulting in damage to the tissues of the neck.
The neck is a very complex structure, though, and there are many important nerves and blood vessels that travel through the neck to other parts of the body. Damage to these tissues can cause a complex set of symptoms that can be difficult to diagnose. In addition, other parts of the body-such as the shoulder and lower back-can be subjected to dramatic forces, as well. This can result in pain in different parts of the body.
Do Not Ignore Your Pain!
Auto injuries are a common problem seen in clinical practice. Most of the time, a patient will have some temporary discomfort that will resolve within a few weeks. According to a recent cross-sectional study, significant percentage of patients - around 30% - will develop some kind of chronic pain or disability from their injury.
There is also great concern involving the complaint of low back pain following an acceleration and deceleration (whiplash) type injury.
In one study, it was shown that 85% of patients that sustained neck injuries as a result of whiplash, developed low back pain some time after the motor vehicle accident. Of that 85%, over half developed the low back pain 4-6 months after the injury and almost all of the rest 7-12 months after the initial accident.