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"Can whiplash cause nausea?"


A few weeks ago, I was in a minor car accident. I opted not to go to the hospital, but I'm pretty sure I got a case of whiplash, because my neck and head have been aching bad since then. A few days ago, I was overcome by a wave of nausea, too. Is this a sing of whiplash or some other harm from the accident?


Whiplash is an injury where the neck is rapidly extended as often happens during an automobile accident. It is the result of stretching of the ligaments within the spinal cord. By definition, it cannot include damage to the nerves that result in long term spinal cord injury.

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In contrast, nausea is a complex reaction that can be due to GI track irritation, the sensation of spinning (vertigo), or a central nervous system disorder. Most cases of nausea originate from the GI track, which would not be effected by whiplash. The only possible connection between the two is that severe pain can sometimes create a nervous reaction that results in nausea. It would be unusual for you to develop this a few weeks after your accident. Nevertheless, I think it would be a good idea for you to consult with a physician. Your two best options are for you to present to the emergency room (Emergency physicians are very adept at dealing with these types of injuries) or for you to present to your primary care physician. It is possible that your waves of nausea are do to a GI virus and your primary care physician would be the best type of doctor to see for this.

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