One of the most common injuries after an accident is whiplash. While whiplash may not be as serious as a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury, it can still be very painful for a victim of a car accident.
What’s more is that symptoms of whiplash won’t often present themselves until weeks after the initial injury, making them think that they don’t need to get medical treatment right away.
Let’s go over the basics of whiplash and what you need to know if you’ve been in an accident.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is what happens when the neck and head are suddenly jolted forward, which puts the spine through lightning fast motion and extreme stress. Most whiplash cases occur as a result of being hit from behind—usually during a car accident but it can also occur on a rollercoaster, bungee jumping, football, falls while skiing or during equestrian events, and other high-impact activities that can cause your neck and head to be suddenly thrust forward.
The most common symptom of whiplash is neck pain. This neck pain can range in severity, from mild to excruciating. Other symptoms can include neck stiffness or reduced range of motion, neck instability, shoulder and/or upper back pain, or headache. There could also be tingling, weakness, or numbness that radiates into the shoulder and/or down the arm, according to spine-health.com.
Whiplash is complicated to diagnose and long-lasting. A lot of concurrent injuries can occur with whiplash, including concussions, pinched nerves, or shoulder injuries.
How to Treat Whiplash
Many cases of whiplash are mild and can be remedied at home. If you have a mild case of whiplash that you don’t think requires any additional medical treatment, here is what you’ll need to do to feel better:
- Get lots of rest. After the first few days of a whiplash injury, you should rest as much as you can to take stress off your neck.
- Ice and/or heat your neck. Applying ice or heat directly to your neck injury can temporarily close small blood vessels and prevent a worsening of the swelling. Alternating between ice and heat should help relieve pain.
- Take over-the-counter medications for pain relief. Over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen can help block pain receptors and reduce inflammation at the site of injury.
If your whiplash injury is severely painful, you should make an appointment with a doctor immediately. A physical therapist can help with a whiplash injury with the use of massage and stretching techniques.
Have you been injured in a car accident in Georgia that resulted in severe whiplash or other injuries? You may be entitled to compensation if the accident was due to the negligence of another driver. Call the Fry Law Team, personal injury attorneys, at 404.969.1284 to set up a consultation.