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Is whiplash a dangerous injury, and is an exam necessary?

You knew that you were hurt after you were involved in a crash, because you immediately had a headache and pains you couldn't explain. After a trip to the hospital, you found out that you had severe whiplash from the head-on crash you'd been in.

Whiplash-associated disorders, also known as WAD, can develop if you suffer from whiplash in a crash. This is a cervical spinal region injury. When your head whips forward and back following a sudden shop, your neck is hyperextended. Then, it recoils. Your brain may impact the inside of your skull, even if you don't hit your head, and you could have significant spinal injuries.

WADs are classified into grades based on the symptoms. For example, Grade 0 has no physical signs, Grade 1 has neck complaints, and Grade 2 has some signs of injury as well as neck pain.

There are also Grade 3 and 4 injuries. A grade 3 injury presents with neurological signs as well as neck complaints. The most serious, Grade 4, generally presents with neck complaints. Additionally, you may have a dislocation or fracture of the neck.

Most people think of whiplash as an injury that you can recover from within a few weeks, but that may not be the case depending on the severity of the collision you were in. A Grade 4 injury could result in a fatality without appropriate treatment.

If you suffer from whiplash, make sure you seek medical help. This injury can be serious, and it's one you should have examined by a medical professional as soon as you can.

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