Whiplash is one of the most common neck injuries, but many people don’t realize that they have it. While most cases of whiplash are relatively mild with injuries eventually healing on their own, moderate and severe cases will typically require treatment from a qualified medical professional. Because more serious cases can result in various complications, including chronic pain, it’s important that you are able to recognize the signs of whiplash and seek appropriate treatment when needed.
Continue reading to learn more about whiplash symptoms, causes, and available treatments. We also encourage you to reach out to the New Orleans personal injury lawyers at The Womac Law Firm if you sustained whiplash or other injuries in a car accident, slip and fall, pedestrian accident, or other incident. We are happy to discuss your case with you during a free initial consultation.
What Is Whiplash?
According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs as a result of rapid forward-backward motion of the head, neck, and spine. Also known as a neck strain, whiplash involves the damaging of muscles and tendons in the neck. This is not to be confused with a neck sprain, which involves damage to the actual ligaments that connect the neck muscles to one another.
While it is often a painful injury, whiplash doesn’t typically lead to life-threatening complications. That being said, if pain does not go away on its own or if neck pain worsens over time, it is important that you see a doctor because untreated whiplash can lead to a number of health issues. These may include reduced range of motion, chronic pain, and severe pain that radiates out to the arms.
The most common sign of whiplash is neck pain and stiffness following an incident such as a car crash or fall.
Other symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain that does not go away or worsens;
- Worsened pain when moving the neck;
- Headaches beginning near the base of the skull;
- Reduced or lost range of motion;
- Pain and soreness in the neck, shoulders, upper back, and/or arms
- Dizziness and fatigue;
- Numbness/tingling sensation in the arms;
- New sleep problems;
- Ringing in the ears;
- Blurred vision;
- Trouble concentrating/remembering; and
- Behavioral changes.
If you notice any of these symptoms, no matter how mild they may seem, make sure that you are examined by a competent medical professional. While whiplash can sometimes be effectively treated at home with rest and over-the-counter pain medication, more severe cases will require more extensive treatment.
What Are the Common Causes of Whiplash?
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of whiplash, particularly rear-end collisions. However, any accident or incident that results in the traumatic, violent back-and-forth motion of the head/neck can lead to whiplash.
Some of the common causes of whiplash include:
- Car accidents,
- Slip and falls,
- Sports accidents,
- Bicycle accidents,
- Pedestrian accidents,
- Blows to the head caused by falling objects,
- Falls from heights, and
- Violent acts.
If you were involved in a car accident or slipped and hit your head and are now experiencing neck pain, it is possible that you have suffered whiplash. Schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible; then contact our attorneys to learn more about your potential right to financial recovery.
Treatments for Whiplash
If your whiplash injuries are relatively mild, your doctor will likely advise you to follow an at-home treatment program. This will most likely consist of icing your neck to reduce swelling and help with the pain, wearing a neck brace (if needed), and taking over-the-counter or prescription pain killers.
If you have suffered moderate to severe whiplash, you may require additional medical care. This could include things like physical therapy, injections, chiropractic massage, massage therapy, acupuncture, or radiofrequency neurotomy which is used to target specific nerves in treating/managing pain.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
If you suffered whiplash as a result of an accident or incident caused by another person or party’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. This includes things like your medical expenses—including pain medications, neck braces, doctor’s visits, and all other medical costs—and your lost wages while you are unable to work. You may also be entitled to receive compensation for your pain and suffering.
At The Womac Law Firm, our attorneys can assist you with your personal injury claim. If you or someone you love suffered whiplash in a traumatic accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, please contact us today to learn how we can help.