Whiplash is most often associated with motor vehicle accidents after an incident when your head is thrust forward or backward. Whiplash can also happen because of sports injuries or even physical abuse when a person is violently shaken.
If you feel pain in your neck and shoulders or a tightening in your muscles, how do you know if it’s whiplash? How long could it last, and how do you deal with the pain?
What is whiplash?
The injury happens when discs, ligaments, nerves and muscles in your neck are damaged. In some cases, even a tear to a small blood vessel can happen after an accident, causing swelling and pain. Common symptoms include:
- Stiff neck
- Muscle spasms
- Limited range of motion
- Memory loss or confusion
Likely causes of whiplash
Doctors say some people are more susceptible to whiplash injuries after an accident. Risk factors include:
- Being hit from behind by another vehicle
- Being a woman
- Being younger
- Having a history of neck pain
- Being hit when your car is stopped
- Not being responsible for an accident
- Having a job with monotonous work resulting in usually tight muscles
How long can the pain last and how is it treated?
Medical studies show up to five out of ten people who suffer from whiplash are still feeling pain after a year. The injury is likely to linger if you had severe pain in the beginning, the pain developed right after the accident, you suffered memory loss or other neurological problems or pain shoots into your arms or fingers.
Treatment can include anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxers, and doctors recommend applying heat to the area to loosen up muscles. Many sufferers also begin physical therapy shortly after while doctors rarely advise patients to wear a neck collar.
Seek legal advice if you are injured in an accident
Whiplash can have long-lasting effects on you and your family. If you are injured in an accident and suffer from whiplash or any other injuries, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney here in Maryland who can help you get the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses caused by someone else’s negligence.