The Truth About Whiplash
There are a lot of misconceptions about whiplash. With Hollywood depictions to stand-up jokes, many people think that whiplash is a minor injury that is exaggerated to make a larger claim after an accident. However, whiplash is a very serious soft tissue injury that can be debilitating to your life. Whiplash most often occurs in rear-end collisions where the force of impact causes the head to violent “whip” back and forth. Whiplash can also be the result of a sports injury, slip and fall, or a blow to the head. This whipping causes damage to the vertebrae, muscles, and ligaments in the neck. The medical term for whiplash is a cervical sprain, cervical strain, or hyperextension injury depending on the specifics. Here is the truth about this very serious injury.
Symptoms Of Whiplash
The symptoms of whiplash, like traumatic brain injuries, may not show up until well after the accident. Usually, there will be pain or swelling around the area of the neck, but it won’t be until the next few days that you will notice the more significant symptoms. If you’ve injured your neck in an accident, make sure to pay attention to your body for the following symptoms:
● Tight or stiff neck
● Limited range of motion
● Dull and aching pain
● Dizziness, vertigo, and loss of fine motor skills
● Back or shoulder pain
● Memory issues and difficulty concentrating
● Blurred vision
If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to seek medical attention immediately for diagnosis and treatment before your injury becomes worse.
How Whiplash Is Diagnosed
The only way to know if you have whiplash for sure is to speak to your doctor. Your doctor will examine your injuries and ask you a series of questions. Your doctor may also do a series of range of motion tests or test your reflexes and sensations. They may also request that you get diagnostic testing like an x-ray or MRI to understand the severity of the injury. Once your doctor diagnoses you and understands the extent of your injuries, you will begin a treatment plan.
How Is Whiplash Treated?
Depending on the extent of your whiplash injuries, your doctor may start you on a treatment schedule or refer you to a specialist like a spinal doctor, chiropractor, or neurologist. Common whiplash treatments include:
● Immobilization of the neck with a brace or cervical collar
● Pharmaceutical muscle relaxants, analgesics, or anti-inflammatories
● A range of motion and physical therapy
● Massage therapy
● Chiropractic adjustments
Most whiplash injuries will go away after a few weeks or months of treatment, but severe injuries can take over a year. It is incredibly important that you follow your treatment regimen after a whiplash diagnosis because whiplash can have lasting, long-term effects. If untreated, you can be left with chronic pain and a partial disability.
Pursuing A Whiplash Claim
Regardless of the negative connotations of whiplash, the law knows how serious a whiplash injury can be. So if you developed whiplash after an accident, you may be owed compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. So if you’ve been diagnosed with whiplash after an accident, you need to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney.
At Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, and Walsh we take injuries seriously and will fight to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review.