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Whiplash after a Car Accident and the Importance of Treatment

After a car accident, you will likely feel some pain in your neck once the adrenaline dies down. The pain is similar to what you get when you sleep with your neck in an awkward position. Caused by a fast yet forceful back-and-fort movement, it puts a strain on your neck and is most common in rear-end accidents.

Very often, whiplash is dismissed as a minor injury. That being said, unless it’s treated properly, this type of pain can last for several years. This is why it is important to get yourself checked immediately after an accident, as it may prevent any long-term effects.

Complications that Whiplash May Bring

Although whiplash is not seen as such a complicated injury, it can still have significant long-term consequences for the victim. Some of the most common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty moving your head
  • Fatigue
  • Vision problems
  • Pain that goes all the way to your arms and shoulders
  • Tingling and numbness in the arms

Whiplash can cause damage to the ligaments of your neck, your disks, and your joints – an action that may lead to long-term pain. By seeking immediate medical care, you should be able to minimize the symptoms and lower your pain. If you delay the treatment, you risk the damage becoming irreversible, exposing yourself to unnecessary pain.

How Whiplash Is Treated

Because of the adrenaline coursing through us after an accident, we don’t always realize that we are suffering from whiplash. We will feel those symptoms somewhere in the next 6-12 hours or even the next day.

A doctor will conduct a series of evaluations and checks to determine whether you are suffering from whiplash or not. This can include an x-ray, a CT scan, or an MRI. If an injury to your neck is discovered, the doctor will prescribe a course of treatment. This can include:

  • Painkillers
  • Massage therapy
  • Heat or ice therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Muscle relaxers

Depending on the extent of the injury, the doctor may also recommend a foam cervical collar. This will allow your neck to heal while preventing you from making any uncomfortable, sudden movements. That being said, if the whiplash is not as bad, the neck is left to support itself. At most, you will get a bandage.

The Bottom Line

Getting treatment as soon as possible will not only prevent potential long-term damage but can also help you in a lawsuit. This way, you will get the compensation you are entitled to.