Whiplash is a fairly common personal injury caused by a sudden forced acceleration-deceleration that results in a rapid forward and backward snap of the neck and head, most commonly found after a motor vehicle accident. Whiplash injuries include damage to both soft tissue and bone structure, while whiplash–associated disorders are more severe.
Thankfully, whiplash isn’t life-threatening. However, it can lead to years of pain.
Symptoms of Whiplash
The most common symptoms of whiplash are the following:
- Back pain
- Vision issues
- Pain or weakness in the arm
- Jaw pain
- Pain or stiffness in the shoulder
- Pain or stiffness in the neck
How Is Whiplash Diagnosed?
After a motor vehicle accident, a patient will be brought to a doctor’s office or hospital for an examination so a medical professional can determine if they have any injuries that should be treated. Based on the exam and patient symptoms, the doctor may add additional support with a neck collar. They will probably also order neck x-rays to look for more serious injuries. The first step is to discover if there is a major head, neck, or body injury that must be treated immediately.
How Is Whiplash Treated?
Whiplash treatments depend on the symptoms that are presented. Sadly, most whiplash treatments haven’t been tested enough to determine if they’re truly effective.
For years, whiplash was treated by wearing a soft cervical collar for several weeks in order to limit motion and prevent additional injury. However, recent studies show that immobilizing the neck for long periods of time can actually slow the healing process. Instead, early range of motion is encouraged if there is no abnormal spine alignment.
Physical therapy is a good way to wean a patient off of a cervical collar. It reduces painful motions and strengths muscles. Occupational therapy is also helpful in letting a patient return to their job.
Will Whiplash Go Away on Its Own?
Patients with minor symptoms may find that whiplash pain diminishes within days or weeks and eventually goes away. However, those with more severe symptoms may require a doctor’s intervention, especially for pain relief.
It’s imperative to see a doctor after a car or truck accident to rule out serious injury. While whiplash isn’t always severe, it can accompany other serious back and neck injuries. Only a doctor can tell you whether your symptoms are from whiplash or something more pressing.
If you’ve been hurt in a motor vehicle accident in San Diego, call Jorgensen Law today at 1-888-855-2948 or contact us online. During your free consultation, we’ll help you determine whether you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries. If your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, we’ll fight to get you the monetary award you deserve.