Understanding Whiplash

Whiplash is a common, soft tissue injury of the neck that effects many people every year. It can happen anytime the neck suddenly extends and flexes in a “whipping” motion. While there are many ways you could end up with whiplash, a motor vehicle accident just about tops the list. 

Let’s take a closer look at this injury and what you should do if you suspect you have it.

Whiplash Symptoms

One thing that makes whiplash unique is that it often has a delayed onset. In other words, it’s possible to leave the scene of a car crash thinking you’re OK, only to wake up the next morning realizing you aren’t!

Here are some symptoms to watch for:

  • Neck pain 
  • Neck stiffness 
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Ringing in ears 
  • Sleep disturbances 

Whiplash may also be accompanied with additional injuries, such as back or shoulder pain. 

Whiplash Treatment Options 

There are a variety of treatment options, but it’s best to be evaluated by a doctor to discuss which might be best for you. 

  • Anti-inflammatory medications 
  • Pain medications 
  • Physical therapy 
  • Chiropractic and massage 
  • Ice 
  • Rest 

In severe instances where serious damage has been done, surgery may be recommended. 

Who’s at Risk for Whiplash? 

Some people are more at risk for suffering from whiplash after a car accident. 

These include: 

  • Babies and small children. Their heads are disproportionately heavy and there’s a real risk of brain injury. Seek medical attention immediately or call 911.
  • Elderly persons. Bodies can become frailer as we age, which makes us more susceptible to injury. 
  • People with prior injury. If you’ve had whiplash before, it may take you longer to recover than someone who’s never had it. 
  • Women. Some studies show that women are twice as likely as men to experience whiplash.

Suspect You Have Whiplash?

It’s important to seek prompt medical care anytime you’ve been in a car accident and suspect you may be injured. This is even more important if you or a passenger is at higher risk for complications. 

If your injuries were the result of a motor vehicle accident where you were the victim, please feel free to reach out to our firm. One of our attorneys will be happy to consult with you at no cost and see if we can help further. 

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Angela Russell
Articles: 73

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