Whiplash as an injury to the neck that often affects those in car accidents. Also known as a neck sprain or neck strain, WebMD explains how whiplash is “a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck” wherein the “intervertebral joints (located between vertebrae), discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots may become damaged.” This injury is often a result of a car accident, as the sudden jerking motion of the head happens when the vehicle is brought to a sudden stop after traveling at a reasonable speed. Since whiplash negatively impacts the nerves and spine, there are a number of symptoms that affect patients. Such symptoms include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, dizziness, shoulder pain, lower back pain, difficulty concentrating, irritability and fatigue.
Treatments for Whiplash
Neck injuries are never to be taken lightly. Victims of car accidents who experience whiplash will often have to undergo physical therapy to relieve symptoms. Many believe that other at-home remedies are also useful, such as taking painkillers or applying heat or ice to the affected area. Others rely on the comfort of a massage or steroid injections for relief. In either case, having such an injury can be painful and inconvenient. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and has been diagnosed with whiplash you may be entitled to legal recovery. Doctors usually recommend limiting movement in the head and neck until there is no more tightness or stiffness, as well as limiting laborious activities. Some patients have found that wearing a neck brace is helpful so that they do not overextend themselves. For more serious pain, doctors may prescribe muscle relaxers.
Physical therapy has been proven to relieve some of the tension in the neck. This type of therapy will be able to focus on increasing the range of motion in the neck and back until you reach your normal range. They can also focus on strengthening your muscles with exercises. Patients often prefer physical therapy as the ultrasound and electrical stimulation techniques used by physical therapists offer immediate relief, even if short term. How the injury occurred and how serious the injury is will be factors that can help someone decide on what treatment to use. To determine the best treatment for you, you should consult with your doctor or physician.
Time to Recover
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you should seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not feel like you have whiplash or any other injury. Many injuries occur due to an accident but victims do not feel symptoms until much later. Undergoing early treatment for injuries such as whiplash can be more effective than discovering it later on, especially if you are making it worse without knowing it. Unfortunately, since it is unpredictable how long it will take for the body to heal, there is no estimated time period of how long it will take to recover. Some patients claim that they feel better in six months and others need physical therapy for years.
To discuss the legal implications of a car accident where you have suffered from whiplash, you should can consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.