How to Identify Whiplash
One of the most common injuries suffered by those who have been in a car accident is whiplash. Whiplash is caused to a person’s neck following a sudden acceleration or deceleration which causes an unrestrained and rapid forward and backward movement of the head. The term whiplash is used to describe both damage to the bone and to soft tissue surrounding the spine.
Symptoms of Whiplash
The most obvious and immediate signs of a whiplash injury are soreness around your neck, head, and middle and upper back. Yet, there are many other problems that a whiplash injury can cause such as shoulder pain, sensory disturbances, and severe headaches and migraines. Some of these symptoms may be instantly apparent while others may not become a problem until several days after the accident.
While whiplash is rarely life threatening and most symptoms are treatable and will heal a few weeks or months after the car accident, there are some cases where whiplash can cause more permanent problems such as:
- Joint dysfunction – when one of the joints in the spine or a limp loses its resiliency and shock absorption, which can possibly lead to restricted range of movement and pain.
- Disc herniation – whiplash may cause injury to the discs between the vertebrae, cause small tears, or cause the inner core of the disc to extrude through the outer core. When the disc’s inner core comes in contact with a spinal nerve root it becomes a herniated disc and causes intense pain and some neurological symptoms like numbness or muscle weakness.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after being involved in a car accident, you should seek medical attention. You may need to make a return visit to the doctor a few days or weeks later depending on the severity of your injuries since many symptoms don’t appear immediately. If you have any questions about whiplash injuries please contact our experts today,