When some people think of whiplash, they picture the cliched image of the car accident victim in a neck brace testifying on the witness stand. Because whiplash isn’t a visible injury, there is sometimes the perception that people are faking their injuries. Whiplash injuries are often misunderstood or ignored due to a lack of understanding of the condition. However, whiplash injuries can be serious and can cause long-lasting effects for a car accident victim.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury that occurs to a person’s neck that is the result of a rapid acceleration-deceleration movement that causes rapid forward and backward movement of the head. Whiplash is most commonly caused by motor vehicle accidents. Whiplash is typically the result of a rear impact while in a stationary position. This motion is thought to cause damage to the soft tissues that hold the cervical vertebrae together.
To diagnose whiplash, a doctor must perform a thorough examination and series of tests including x-rays, MRIs and CT scans. Treatment usually involves the use of a cervical collar, medication to control pain, and physical therapy to improve range of motion. Some people recover fairly quickly from whiplash while for others it can take months to feel any better.
What are the Symptoms of Whiplash?
Whiplash is a real condition with real symptoms. Common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Shoulder stiffness and pain
- Arm pain and weakness
- Jaw pain
- Back pain
- Tinnitus (ringing the ear)
In some cases, victims experience more severe whiplash symptoms such as:
- Visual disturbances
- Sleep disturbances
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Post-traumatic stress
Although neck pain usually occurs immediately after a whiplash injury, some people don’t experience any pain until hours, days, or even weeks after the injury. That’s why it’s important to seek medical treatment after a car accident, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured.
Contact a Trusted Attorney
If you’ve experienced whiplash as the result of a motor vehicle accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.