You may have whiplash if you suffer pain after a car accident in your neck, shoulders, head or at the base of your skull.
While pain in these locations is the most common symptom, other symptoms include:
- sleep problems;
- poor concentration;
- blurry vision;
- ringing in the ears;
- pain in the arm(s);
- low back pain;
- anger; and
How Whiplash Occurs from a Car Accident
Most people suffering from whiplash after a car accident have had a rear-end collision. The impact of being hit from behind causes the head to jerk suddenly in one direction and then in another.
While many people move their heads quickly for many reasons, people suffer from whiplash because their muscles are relaxed. Relaxed muscles are more susceptible to injury because the impact exerts detrimental force to discs, joints and ligaments.
It’s important to know that rear-end collisions are not the only cause of whiplash. Many people suffer from this injury in side-impact accidents such as hitting a pole, wall or another car.
Recovery and Treatment for Whiplash
Most whiplash sufferers recover from the injury within a few weeks; however, 15 to 20% will continue to experience pain for much longer. Seventy percent of people recover by one year, and 82% recover by two years.
While it can be difficult to diagnose mild cases of whiplash:
- X-rays; and
- MRIs can diagnose chronic pain because of whiplash.
In many cases, chronic pain occurs after an injury to the facet joints. Treatment often starts with the injured party wearing a soft cervical collar to keep the neck from suffering any additional injuries. However, the cervical collar should not be worn constantly. Research and the medical community find that movement speeds recovery time.
Physical therapy teaches whiplash sufferers how to do rotational exercises. Physical therapists recommend performing these exercises as many as 10 times per hour, especially right after the car accident.
Seeking Legal Advice from a Car Accident Attorney
Whiplash is one of the most common reasons for a lawsuit after a car accident. Having a car accident attorney who specializes in whiplash is important to get the most out of a personal injury claim. Contact Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas now for a free case evaluation with an experienced car accident attorney at 1-540-636-7100.