After a car crash, one of the most common injuries people sustain is whiplash. Whiplash is a type of injury that occurs when the neck suddenly jerks forward and backward due to a forceful impact, such as a rear-end collision. The rapid movement strains the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck, causing pain and stiffness.
Whiplash can cause significant pain and discomfort for individuals suffering after a car crash. Despite its prevalence, many people, including medical professionals, do not understand the impact of this injury, including its causes, symptoms, treatment, and legal considerations.
As we’ve already discussed, one of the biggest causes of whiplash is motor vehicle collisions. However, whiplash may also be caused by falls, sports injuries, or other accidents.
The symptoms of whiplash can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Still, they may include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, pain radiating into the shoulders or numbness in the arms and hands, difficulty concentrating, or sleep disturbances. Sometimes these symptoms don’t manifest immediately and can take hours or days.
If you experience this pain after an accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. If untreated, whiplash can cause long-term complications, including chronic pain and discomfort. A doctor or chiropractor should do a thorough exam, including X-rays or MRIs, to assess the condition thoroughly. Treatment may include pain management, physical therapy, steroid injections, chiropractic care, or other interventions which may involve surgery.
Studies show that even five years after a car crash –
89.5% of patients still experienced whiplash injury-related neck pain;
68.4% of patients had pain scores greater than 3 on the NRS;
68.4% of patients were still receiving treatment that included pain medications, physical therapy, and pain management;
73.7% of patients encountered difficulty performing daily activities and work-related tasks. *
Speaking with a personal injury attorney is essential if you have sustained whiplash due to someone else’s negligence. Documenting your treatment and your ability to perform daily activities is critical in your case against a person who has harmed you.
* June 16, 2022, study published in the Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation