Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that people sustain in car accidents. But, how much do you really know about whiplash? Would you be able to spot the symptoms of whiplash if you sustained this injury in a crash? Here’s a helpful introduction to whiplash that will prepare you in the event that you are ever injured in a car accident:
The Cause of Whiplash
Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the muscles in the neck overextend due to a sudden jerking motion of the head. This often occurs in car accidents because the impact of the collision can cause the victim’s body to jolt forward and backward without warning. The impact could be strong enough to tear or strain muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
The Symptoms of Whiplash
Some car accident victims may begin to notice the symptoms of whiplash immediately after the collision, but others may not develop any symptoms until hours or even days later. The most common symptoms include pain in the neck, back, or shoulders, stiffness, headaches, numbing sensation in the arms or hands, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty paying attention. If you spot any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.
To diagnose the soft tissue injuries of whiplash, you may need a CT or MRI scan. These scans should allow the doctor to see damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your neck, back, and shoulders.
Unfortunately, there is not much that a doctor can do to treat whiplash. Most doctors recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain medication to make you more comfortable as you recover. The doctor may also suggest that you alternate using cold packs and a heating pad on the affected area to reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
If the symptoms continue to bother you, the doctor may refer you to a physical therapist so you can learn gentle exercises to improve your range of motion and reduce pain. In the past, doctors used to give their patients neck braces to wear if they had whiplash, but this is no longer recommended. Doctors now believe that movement is important for a patient’s recovery, so there’s no need to keep the neck still using a brace.
If you have sustained whiplash or other injuries in a car accident, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Our team will help you recover the compensation that you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.