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How to diagnose whiplash

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Have you been in an accident collision or a fall? And you're wondering if you have a whiplash. Well, that's the case. You come to the right place! 

There are different types of whiplash injuries. And here in Alberta, we grade them out of four. In fact, they're not really called whiplash. They're called whiplash associated disorders (WADs). This is because the mechanism of injury is a whiplash type mechanism. And there's associated disorders with these types of injuries. Oftentimes that may include neck pain, dizziness headaches, numbness, tingling, arm pain, shooting back pains. falling down, jaw pain. There's a wide slew of possible injuries that can happen. 

So how do you determine if you have a whiplash injury? 

There are four grades of whiplash injuries 

These are graded 1, 2, 3 or 4. 

WAD Grade 4

 is if there's some type of pathology, such as a fracture, if you fractured one of the vertebra or bones in your neck, That's a grade four whiplash injury. And I really hope that hasn't happened to you.

WAD Grade 3 

is when there's some type of neurological compromise, such as a frank herniation that's compressing that nerve. Now you have no strength. You have a lot of pain in the arm, with no strength in it and you're dropping things. 

WAD Grade 2

The majority of these type of whiplash injuries where there's some type of pain or problem. and there's objective findings such as decreased range of motion soreness pain and symptoms. 


WAD Grade 1

This is when you have some type of soreness, but there's no objective deficits. For example, you have full range of motion, a little bit of tenderness on palpation, such as touching that area. But otherwise everything seems to be fine. No neurological issues. 


So to answer your question...

how do you diagnose whiplash? 

Well, are you having any symptoms? Or issues after the injury and if that's the case, then yes you may be whiplash. 

Of course, I can't diagnose you through the computer. And really only a physician, chiropractor, healthcare providers that are able to diagnose can diagnose that. 

Obviously people always like to try to rely on Dr. Google, but it may not always be very accurate, so if you think you have a whiplash injury, I would strongly suggest you see your primary healthcare provider, chiropractor, physiotherapist, or your family physician. To get that checked out to make sure you can make a full recovery is good as possible. 

I hope that helps. If you have any questions, reach out. Send me an email, drop a comment in the line below and have a fantastic rest of your day and talk with you soon. 


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