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Is it Whiplash? Things You Should Know About Whiplash Injury

Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on October 8, 2015

It’s Monday morning and you are rushing to get to work by 8 a.m. After oversleeping and forgetting to brush your teeth, the morning is already making you want to crawl back in bed. You are one stoplight away from turning into your office parking lot, when all of the sudden your car propels forward through the light and you experience your first car accident.

This sudden jolt and trauma has managed to delay your entire morning and on top of that, you are experiencing neck pain, tenderness and decreased range of motion in your neck. After going to the Emergency Room for a physical exam, you get the news that you have sustained a whiplash injury. While this injury may seem threatening, it is a common neck and head injury that can be easily treated over time.

This brief example describes millions of Americans that get rear-ended on their way to work every year. While you do not have control of the car behind you, you do have control over your treatment options for whiplash. This common neck strain injury occurs frequently during car accidents. The sudden distortion and movement of your neck during a car accident or abrupt trauma causes your neck to experience painful whiplash-related symptoms.

Common Symptoms of WhiplashIs It Whiplash?

The symptoms of whiplash can range from quite mild to very intense. The most common symptom of whiplash is pain. Whiplash not only causes pain in the head and neck, but it can travel through your shoulders and spine as well. Along with the pain, many people experience a decreased range of motion and muscle tightness. Additionally, people with whiplash sometimes have headaches and dizziness.

After a car accident or other trauma causing the whiplash, the pain may not occur instantly. Depending on the speed and force of the accident, you may experience pain or agitation immediately, or it could take hours for the pain to become apparent.

Because whiplash is a mild head, neck and spine injury, it mostly heals on its own. Before making a self-diagnosis, it is recommended to seek medical treatment from a qualified physician. After a physical exam, your doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help with pain and swelling. Icing and/or applying heat pads to your neck may also provide some relief from soreness and swelling. For short-term support, your doctor may recommend wearing a neck brace or collar for a couple of weeks.

Adequate recovery time is very important when healing from a whiplash injury. It’s often best not to rush back to driving or work after sustaining this type of head and neck injury. Once your initial pain has subsided, you doctor may recommend some form of rehabilitation or stretching exercises to help you get back to your normal range of motion. As noted earlier, whiplash is hard to prevent based on the causational circumstances of this injury. However, practicing proper neck stretching on a daily basis can improve your overall range of motion and help keep these muscles stronger and limber.

If you are injured in a car accident and need help from an attorney with experience in personal injury law, contact Cooper & Friedman Attorneys at Law. We offer a free case consultation. Call 502-459-7555 for more information.

The above is posted for informational purposes only. The publisher is not a doctor or physician. If you believe you have any medical problem, you should always consult with a qualified medical doctor and not rely on informational posts of this nature.

Posted Under: Car Accidents

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