Whiplash, sometimes caused by falls, sports injuries or by a mild or moderate traffic accident, can have consequences that at first might seem unpredictable.

What is vertical whiplash?

It is an injury to the tissues of the head-neck complex due to an acceleration-deceleration energy mechanism that is transferred to the neck. 1

Neck injuries account for 30% of all spinal injuries. It is estimated that approximately 40% present as complete spinal cord section, 40% incomplete, and in 20% there is no spinal cord or neurological injury. 2


The quality of life is completely reversed and it is not only pain in the head, jaws and neck, but a state of hypersensitivity that covers almost all aspects of the person, both physically and emotionally.

Insomnia and anxiety have also been reported. The character becomes sour and the consequences of the blow go beyond the purely musculoskeletal.


In these situations the therapeutic measures have to be extended, since we are no longer in front of a purely physical question, but it is the general dysregulation of the individual what must be restored.

This cervical pain is common and increasingly prevalent in Western populations.

It is the leading cause of disability before the age of 45.

Time of sick leave

The time of duration depends on the severity of the cervical sprain, the treatment followed and the characteristics of the patient himself which can range from 1 or 2 months in mild cases to 6 months or more in more severe cases.

Often patients suffer from chronic disabling pain that responds poorly to isolated therapies, whether pharmacological, physical or surgical.

The patient must be properly evaluated traumatologically and neuraxially.


1.- González-Ramírez S, Chaparro-Ruiz ES, De la Rosa-Alvarado MR, Díaz-Vega M, Guzmán-González JM, Jiménez-Alcántara JJ, et al.JM, Jiménez-Alcántara JJ, et al. Clinical guide for the rehabilitation of the patient with cervical sprain in the first level of care. Rev Med IMSS. 2005;43(1):61-8.

2.- Lira-Romero JM, Hernández-Rosas C, Aguilar-Águila Martínez MA. Early versus delayed surgery in
dislocation fracture of the cervical spine. Acta Ortop
Mex. 2003;17(5):216-20.



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