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The latest whiplash research shows that long-term health problems are the norm

The latest whiplash research from the University of Queensland in Australia, published in November 2006, shows that a third of people with whiplash will go on to have long-term problems or develop delayed symptoms that can be extremely problematic.

It is estimated that around 30 per cent of car accidents result in a whiplash personal injury compensation claim, and while most people recover quickly and do not need a collar, in other cases if physical symptoms are left untreated, the results can be disastrous and sometimes cause disabilities.

Apart from the pain usually felt in the cervical neck region, in more recent years the post-traumatic emotional stress and emotional and neurological disorders arising from a car accident whiplash injury have been more clearly understood. Practitioners are also taking whiplash conditions more seriously.

Nightmares, accelerated ageing, limited neck movement, and upper body pain are all delayed whiplash symptoms.

It is hoped that the latest results will raise awareness in the medical establishment about the long-term effects of whiplash that requires personal injury compensation claims and to make practitioners and sufferers take it more seriously.

Sensory hypersensitivity after whiplash is another area currently being looked at further by whiplash researchers at the University of Queensland.

It's thought that the nervous system becomes much more excitable and behaves as if it is "wound up". The side-effects of this process are not entirely clear.