It’s only whiplash, how bad can it be?

Have you ever been in a rear-end collision? If you have, even if the crash did not seem very severe, you likely experienced some negative effects on your body. Maybe you still are. Whiplash is, by many people in Florida and elsewhere, not thought to be a big deal. The truth is, though, it can have long-lasting consequences.

Whiplash injuries can be anywhere from minor to severe in nature. They can have temporary effects, cause pain or other issues for years after the event, or even result in you experiencing symptoms for the rest of your life. What exactly is whiplash? What causes it? How can one treat it?

Whiplash is

When hit in a rear-end collision, your neck and head move forcefully in a backward then forward movement. This can cause muscles to overstretch or tear, and cause damage to tendons and ligaments. The most common symptom associated with whiplash is neck pain. However, the pain can spread to your back and shoulders if the impact was great enough. Other symptoms you may experience include:

  • Headaches
  • Exhaustion
  • Dizziness
  • Vision trouble
  • Muscle spasms
  • Damage to nerves

In most whiplash cases, one may not recognize the full extent of the injuries. Symptoms can take days or weeks to fully appear.

Whiplash causes, diagnosis and treatment

The number one cause of whiplash injuries is car accidents — particularly rear-end car accidents. Others include bicycling crashes, motorcycle collisions and accidents that occur while taking part in other recreational activities.

If you believe you have suffered a whiplash injury, it is important to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. After a physical exam is completed and any tests needed to see the injured area, your medical team will prepare a treatment plan. Common treatments for whiplash include:

  • Using a neck brace to stabilize your neck
  • Using pain medication, either prescription or over the counter, to manage pain
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery

Alternative treatment options may also prove effective in treating whiplash. Massage, acupuncture and nerve stimulation — among others — have been shown to improve symptom severity.

Get relief through legal means

If your whiplash injury was the result of another person’s negligence, you may file a civil claim against that individual in an effort to seek relief for any damages sustained. Personal injury cases can take time to investigate and litigate. However, with time, care and planning, it is possible to successfully present your case in court in an effort to seek full and fair compensation for your losses.

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