More than 2 million Americans experience some form of whiplash on an annual basis, and automobile injuries are the leading cause. Called “whip”lash because of the similarities of an actual cracking whip, whiplash happens when the neck rapidly moves in a back-and-forth position. When the neck is jerked either direction (forward or backward), this can cause injuries such as muscle and tendon tears. This painful injury often begins weeks or months after an accident, making it imperative for drivers to contact a car wreck attorney in Melbourne or Titusville as soon as possible after the crash.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
While whiplash is usually related to the neck, other bodily injuries may come into play. According to Mayo Clinic, other symptoms include:
- Ears: tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing or roaring sounds only heard by the person suffering from whiplash
- Eyes: blurred vision
- Head: severe headaches, usually at the skull base
- Arms: numbness; tenderness (usually upper arms); tingling; pain (usually upper arms)
- Neck: limited motion range; pain; stiffness
- Shoulders: pain; tenderness
Whiplash doesn’t just affect a car accident victim physically. There are mental consequences, too, including:
- decrease in sleep
- distracted easily
- memory loss
Because whiplash from sports injuries can also cause concussions, excessive sleepiness or falling unconscious should be treated immediately, too. After a major injury, do not assume that the injured can easily shake it off.
Whiplash can happen immediately or take hours to days to kick in. While it usually goes away on its own with proper treatment, diagnosing whiplash is the first step. CT scans or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine are used to check for soft tissue injuries, such as discs, ligaments and muscles.
Unfortunately, “weakness” is not something that can be classified on these machines and is usually judged by the injured’s verbal and physical behavior before, during and after the tests. Standard X-ray machines are also not sufficient at diagnosing whiplash. However, X-ray machines may be suitable for narrowing down arthritis, dislocations and fractures to identify the difference between whiplash and symptoms from these three factors.
Yoga is one of many ways that gentle exercises can improve the injuries associated with whiplash. Other methods of treatment include:
- medication (anti-inflammatory drugs, opioid pain relievers)
- pain relief medication
- physical therapy
- strength training
Surgery for neck pain is rare, unless there is damage to a nerve or the spinal cord.
Whiplash is a stubborn injury that could come back without notice. Be sure to discuss all of your symptoms with a Melbourne or Titusville whiplash lawyer to ensure that your case considers and includes all of your pain and suffering.