Whiplash is the most common type of injury that victims of car accidents suffer from. But what is whiplash?
Whiplash refers to pain and soreness in the neck area that a motorist experiences after an automobile accident. Such an injury usually occurs as a result of the sudden acceleration-deceleration force in rear-end collisions, and drivers and passengers are generally more prone to suffering from whiplash when their heads are turned to one side, or they are looking up or down.
When a motorist is struck from behind, the lower bones in the neck are forced into a position of hyperextension but the upper bones in the neck remain in a hyperflexed position. This leads to an abnormal S-shape in the neck (cervical spine) that is different from the normal motion, causing damage to soft tissues (ligaments, muscles) that hold the cervical vertebrae together.
Symptoms of whiplash may not manifest until one to two days after a car accident. Hence, if you are involved in an accident, it is very important that you get xamined by a professional immediately after an accident even if you feel no pain.
The most common physical, i.e. objective, symptoms associated with whiplash include:
- Neck pain,
- Neck stiffness,
- Shoulder pain,
- Shoulder stiffness,
- Jaw pain (TMJ),
- Arm weakness,
- Arm pain,
- Visual disturbances,
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and
- Back pain.
In addition to physical injuries, a whiplash victim can also suffer from non-physical, i.e. subjective, symptoms including:
- Anger, and
What is the treatment for whiplash? Often times, whiplash victims do nothing more than suppress symptoms of their soft tissue injuries by taking pain-killers and anti-inflammatory medication, such as Ibuprofen. Although taking such medication may provide some short time relief, they will not heal the muscles, tendons or ligaments that were injured in the car accident. If whiplash is left untreated, the injured muscles, tendons and ligaments can lead to scar tissue and cause chronic pain for months, or even years, after an accident.
During the last 30 years, insurance companies have spent millions of dollars in propaganda to deceive the public into believing that soft tissue injuries, including whiplash, do not exist. However, anyone involved in a car accident and any health care professional in the field can confirm the fact that soft tissue injuries, including whiplash, are real and if left untreated, can result in long term problems.
This article is brought to you by Attorney Mason Rashtian of The Mason Law Firm. If you have been injured in an automobile accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, bus accident, bicycle accident or a pedestrian accident, and wish to speak with someone about your rights, please give us a call. We will provide you with an honest and complete assessment and educate you as to your options. Additionally, we may be able to refer you to a medical professional, who can examine you and provide you with an assessment.
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