What is Whiplash?

If you are involved in a car crash, it’s possible you could leave the scene of the accident without any bumps or bruises. But many people are not so lucky. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries associated with car accidents. What is it? How can it be treated? Here’s what you need to know:

How does whiplash occur?

The impact of a car accident can often cause your neck to jerk forward and backward suddenly. When this happens, the muscles in your neck may stretch too far and tear. Whiplash is often associated with being rear-ended by another vehicle, but you can sustain this injury in any type of collision.

What are the symptoms?

Most whiplash victims will immediately begin to feel pain in their neck, shoulders, and upper back. But if you don’t experience pain right away, that doesn’t rule out the possibility you have whiplash. Sometimes it can take a few hours or days for the pain of whiplash to set in. It will become difficult for you to move this part of your body without experiencing pain and stiffness. The entire area may be tender to the touch, but this is not true of all whiplash cases. Some victims may also have pounding headaches that feel as if they are stemming from the back of the neck and moving towards the forehead.

Can it be treated?

Seek medical attention right away if you believe you could have whiplash. A doctor can diagnose this condition by asking you about your symptoms, performing a physical examination, and examining X-rays or CT scans.

Doctors usually recommend applying ice packs to the affected area to reduce inflammation and numb the pain. Anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medications can also be taken to stop the swelling so the muscles can properly heal. A doctor will probably suggest that you wear a brace to support your head and neck until the pain has subsided.

If you are experiencing serious pain or if you have a history of prior injuries, the doctor may advise you to try physical therapy. Physical therapists can teach you stretching exercises that will help reduce the pain and promote healing.

Treating whiplash can be expensive and may cause you to miss work while you recover. But if your injury was caused by a negligent driver, you could be entitled to compensation to cover these expenses and lost wages.

If you have been diagnosed with whiplash after a car accident, reach out to experienced personal injury attorney Frank Harris right away. Whiplash can lead to long-term aches and pains, and you shouldn’t have to suffer with this injury in silence. Contact his office today by sending an email to info@FrankHarrisLaw.com or visiting us online at www.FrankHarrisLaw.com. You can also place a call to our offices at 678-483-8655.