The definition of whiplash is when someone suffers an extreme impact or blow that forces the head to whip forward or backward. This results in neck strain and could potentially tear the soft tissues in the neck.
It is important to note that whiplash differs from neck sprains. While a neck sprain is often the result of damage to the muscles and tendons, whiplash arises from damage to the ligaments and soft tissues.
Understanding the Symptoms of Whiplash
Neck and shoulder pains are common after suffering an accident, especially a car or truck accident. While these pains could indicate that you have whiplash, it is crucial to receive an evaluation from a medical professional.
Additional symptoms of whiplash might include:
- Tightness of the neck and shoulders
- Pain when rotating or turning the neck
- Chronic headaches
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Difficulty sleeping
- Tenderness when palpating the neck
Regardless of the location or intensity of pains you experience after a car accident, it is crucial to seek medical care immediately. The adrenaline from being in an accident can mask the symptoms of more severe injuries.
Additionally, if your injuries require extensive medical care or time away from work, it is important to document this process. Otherwise, it can be challenging to connect the accident as the cause of the whiplash or another injury.
A medical provider will usually evaluate your symptoms and look for any other problems. Sometimes, whiplash can also be accompanied by a concussion if you hit your head during the accident. The medical provider may request imaging to evaluate the severity of your injury further.
Treatment of Whiplash Injury
Fortunately, most cases of whiplash begin to go away within a few days or weeks. More severe of injuries may take months. However, most whiplash injuries are not life-long. If your injuries persist or continue to get worse, it is possible that there is something else going on and seeking medical treatment is important.
If your physician rules that you have whiplash, they will prescribe you with a treatment plan that depends on the severity of the injury. They may request that you frequently ice your neck, wear a neck collar, and relax for a specified period of time. They may also prescribe you either over the counter or prescription painkillers. Physical therapy may be necessary for severe cases.
When To Seek Legal Representation For Whiplash
If another party is responsible for your whiplash injury and you are dealing with significant damages, then it may be beneficial to speak with a lawyer. Severe injuries, such as torn tendons, can require expensive medical treatments. You may lose out on income and work benefits as you recover. You should not have to cover these costs on your own. A lawyer will help you evaluate your legal options and determine the best steps going forward and help you get a settlement .