Statistics show that nearly 25% of whiplash victims suffer from chronic injuries or disabilities that require long-term medical care. Furthermore, one in seven whiplash injuries result in severe lingering pain in the neck and back lasting more than three years after the accident occurs. Neck and back injuries resulting from any kind of accident are likely to interfere with an individual’s daily life, potentially preventing them from returning to work, performing normal activities, or even getting out of bed without experiencing extreme pain. Whiplash injuries are particularly debilitating because the resulting pain can affect the neck, back, shoulders and even one or both arms.
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries associated with neck and back trauma, often resulting from involvement in motor vehicle accidents, assault, or slip and fall accidents. Whiplash occurs when a person’s head is violently forced forward due to an impact from behind, and is then jerked backwards. This type of injury affects the soft tissues of the neck, particularly the muscles, tendons and ligaments, and is caused by an abnormal force applied to the neck that causes the neck to move beyond its normal range of motion.
Symptoms of Whiplash Injuries
The symptoms commonly associated with whiplash include neck pain, neck swelling, muscle spasms in the neck, tenderness, headaches, difficulty moving the neck, and pain radiating from the neck into one or both shoulders and arms. Some victims of whiplash may suffer from additional symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, nausea and irritability. Unfortunately, some instances of whiplash injuries are disregarded because symptoms don’t immediately arise, increasing the chances of the injury becoming a recurring condition later in life.
Whiplash Injury Treatment
Proper medical treatment for whiplash injuries varies on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature and severity of the injury sustained. Medical care for victims of whiplash injuries typically involves bed rest, immobilization of the neck, anti-inflammatory medications, range of motion exercises, ice therapy, heat therapy, and avoiding excessive neck strain. In severe instances, these injuries may require rehabilitation and physical therapy before they are fully resolved, as well as monitoring to ensure the victim has not suffered any additional injuries.
Serious Complications of Whiplash
Whiplash injuries can lead to serious complications if not immediately treated, including muscle spasms, joint pain, and ligament damage in the upper back and neck. In fact, whiplash is one of the most common causes of chronic pain in developed countries. More severe whiplash cases may cause life-altering complications like permanent neck pain, spinal cord damage, spinal arthritis, chronic pain or chronic headaches. If nerve roots are damaged in the accident, numbness and weakness in the affected area may last until recovery is complete. In approximately 10% of cases of whiplash, the symptoms are severe and in 4%, whiplash victims are unable to return to work.
Legal Help for Victims of Whiplash
Victims of accidents resulting in whiplash are often subjected to debilitating pain following an accident, which can sometimes become a serious condition long after the initial accident occurs. In addition, individuals suffering from recurring pain associated with a previous injury may incur costly medical bills resulting from injury treatment. Unfortunately, connecting this chronic pain to the initial accident and whiplash injury may be difficult, preventing you from collecting the financial compensation you require. The most important step to taking following an accident is to seek medical treatment, even if you don’t notice any immediate injuries. Some of the most serious injuries, including whiplash injuries, are not physically visible and may not arise until hours or even days after the accident. After receiving medical care, the next step victims of accidents should take is to seek legal guidance from an experienced whiplash attorney. With the help of a whiplash attorney, injured victims can seek the compensation they deserve and ensure they receive the medical care their condition requires now and in the future.