When your neck is damaged in a Fauquier County crash, it can be tempting to say “oh, it’s just a little whiplash – it will go away”.  However, neck injuries can be very serious if not treated properly and can lead to serious long-term consequences.


If you were injured recently in a Fauquier County auto accident and think you hurt your neck, here is what you need to know about neck strain / whiplash.


What exactly is neck strain / whiplash?


A neck injury happens in a car crash when your neck is either flung backwards (called hyperextension) or flung forwards (called hyperflexion).  Neck strain is common in rear-end accidents, because the force of being hit from behind – even at a very slow speed – causes the body to jerk forward, flinging the head and neck forward, backwards, or both.


A neck sprain or strain – also known as whiplash – means that you have sustained damage to your neck.  You can hurt your intervertebral joints, spinal cord disks, spinal cord ligaments, cervical muscles, or nerve roots in a whiplash accident.


How do I know if I have whiplash or a neck sprain?


A neck strain / sprain can be tricky because often symptoms do not show up until a day, several days, or even weeks after an accident.  If you suspect that your neck may have been injured in a car wreck, you should see your doctor right away, even if you think you are fine.  Visiting your doctor quickly and establishing a medical record that you may have been hurt in the crash will help your insurance claim later on.


Here are some signs that you may have suffered a whiplash injury:


  • A stiff, sore or painful neck
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder pain, especially between the shoulder blades
  • Numbness or dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble concentrating on tasks or remembering things
  • Sleep disturbances


In order to diagnose neck sprain or strain, your doctor may have to perform a specialized imaging test like a CT scan or an MRI.  This is because damage to the soft tissue in your neck can’t be seen on a standard x-ray.


Treatment and prognosis for neck sprain / strain


Many cases of whiplash go away on their own, however some more serious cases may require physical therapy, pain management, or other treatments as prescribed by your doctor.  If not treated properly, severe neck injuries can lead to long-term spinal cord degeneration and long-lasting pain and suffering.


Were you hurt in a car wreck in the Culpeper or Warrenton area?  Please browse our website to find more information about your crash, and then give us a call to talk about your case for no call or obligation. 




Warrenton Office

98 Alexandria Pike, Suite 11

Warrenton, VA 20186

Toll Free: 888.907.2631

Local: 540.349.2631


Culpeper Office

209 N. West Street

Culpeper, VA 22701

Toll Free: 800.741.1012

Local: 540.825.6046

Andrew Thomas
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Civil litigation attorney in Virginia and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

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