Many people involved in automobile accidents will suffer from whiplash. If you’re experiencing this injury, or know someone who is, it can be frustrating – especially if recovery is progressing slowly. It’s important to know that whiplash can be treated, and if treated properly it can go away.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash occurs when the soft tissues in the neck are damaged by a sudden, violent jolt. This occurs most frequently with auto accidents, especially rear-end collisions. In the event of a car accident, the body may be jolted forward, while the head stays in one place. That motion causes the whiplash. Whiplash can also be the result of sport injuries, work injuries, or falls.
Whiplash symptoms vary and normally take 24 to 48 hours to become noticeable after an accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, the pain may start immediately. The most common symptoms whiplash sufferers will experience is stiffness in the neck or upper back pain.
Individuals diagnosed with whiplash may also experience decreased range of motion, fatigue, headaches, sleep disturbances, blurred vision, tingling or burning sensations, or dizziness.
Because the symptoms are so varied and take time to develop, whiplash may be misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.
How is Whiplash Treated?
If left untreated, whiplash pain has the potential to continue to for weeks, months, or longer. Chronic whiplash pain can last for years.
If you think you’re experiencing whiplash, it’s best to call your doctor and make an appointment as soon as possible. They will be able to help you treat your injury, so you can recovery quickly.
Your doctor may initially prescribe a cervical color, or neck brace, to support your neck. This is used to temporarily relieve some of your pain. They may also prescribe anti-inflammatories, like Aspirin or Ibuprofen, in an attempt to reduce any swelling. Heat can be applied to loosen the muscles, as well.
Staying as active as possible is important when treating whiplash. Your doctor may suggest you complete physical therapy sessions. If you choose to do physical therapy, you may do either passive or active treatments. Passive treatments include deep tissue massage, hot and cold therapies, or ultrasounds. These treatments try to encourage circulation and promote healing. In active therapies, you will most likely learn a variety of exercises to improve your strength and range of motion.
If you were the victim of a car accident and experienced whiplash, it can be difficult to get the compensation you deserve because it’s not a visible injury. Our Louisville whiplash injury lawyers can help.