Whiplash is a painful and debilitating but invisible injury that often occurs in vehicular collisions. Whiplash is one of the most common collision-related injuries. It’s not only painful, but can lead to chronic neck pain if not treated promptly.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the head is thrown back and then forward quickly and violently. This often happens in car collisions. However, even though the head may be thrown violently, the car or cars don’t have to be moving very fast in order to cause this injury. Whiplash can even occur at a very low speed of about 6 mph.
What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?
The symptoms of whiplash are primarily neck pain and stiffness, with an inability to move the neck much, if at all. There may also be shoulder pain and stiffness as well as headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. There may be other symptoms as time goes on, such as depression, irritability, blurred vision, or cognitive problems.
How Is Whiplash Diagnosed?
A doctor will also test the injured person’s range of motion to check for whiplash. Whiplash is often a silent injury, meaning that it doesn’t always show up on x-rays, MRIs, or CAT scans. However, a doctor will take these imaging tests to rule out other injuries, like fractures and disk injuries. However, it’s possible to have both whiplash and another condition, such as a concussion, as the movement that causes whiplash can also cause concussions.
What’s the Treatment for Whiplash?
The course of treatment and how long it will take depends on the severity of the injury. However, whiplash usually heals on its own. Sufferers may take over-the-counter medication or in worse cases, get shots of painkillers. In the past, whiplash victims would wear foam collars to limit the neck’s motion. However, doctors are more apt to prescribe exercises and physical therapy to restore the neck’s range of motion and to keep the muscles strong.
What Should Someone Do If They Think They Have Whiplash?
The first thing anyone should do after a vehicular collision is to report it and to seek medical treatment. Whiplash may hurt immediately, or may not manifest for another day. Either way, a seemingly harmless fender-bender can cause a debilitating injury.
The next thing to do is speak to a personal injury lawyer. Whiplash can not only be painful, but it can limit the sufferer’s ability to work and live a normal life. If another driver or another person’s negligence or intentional act caused the whiplash, the injured person may be able to recover damages and compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
While most whiplash injuries heal eventually, it’s still debilitating, and it still has the chance to develop into a long-term problem. If you or someone you love developed whiplash after an accident, call one of our personal injury attorneys 303-393-6666. You may be able to recover damages to cover medical expenses and other losses.