December 21, 2009
Whiplash, or WAD (whiplash-associated disorders) refers to a series of neck injuries caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck – hyperextension (over-extension) injury to the neck. In many cases whiplash is the result of being struck from behind, for example, by a fast moving vehicle in an automobile accident.
In a typical case the victim’s body is initially pushed or accelerated forward while the head remains behind for an instant, making the head rock up and back, stretching and/or tearing some muscles, tendons and ligaments. The muscles react automatically (reflex motion) to bring the heard forward – sometimes this is overdone and the head may rock forward violently, further stretching and/or tearing muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Tendons are tissues by which muscles attach to bone. Tendons are flexible, fibrous and tough. Like ligaments, tendons are tough flexible cords. Ligaments go from bone-to-bone while tendons go from muscle-to-bone. Although tendons and ligaments are tough, they are known as soft tissue (because they are usually compared to bone or cartilage). More…