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Whiplash: What is it and what are the symptoms?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2023 | Injuries |

If you are involved in a car accident, it is expected that you will suffer some kind of injury, which is why people should always seek medical attention immediately after they’ve experienced a vehicle-related impact. In a catastrophic accident, you could experience spinal damage or traumatic brain injuries.

But, in a minor auto accident, such as a fender-bender, you are more likely to experience a particularly common injury: whiplash.

Whiplash is an umbrella term that describes an injury to the neck caused by a traumatic jerking of the head. Someone usually experiences whiplash after their neck suddenly rocked back-and-forth in a forceful manner. The specific cause of whiplash is hyperextension and hyperflexion of the spine and a sudden strain to the back and neck muscles. Many people who play sports are diagnosed with whiplash, yet, it’s also commonly seen in survivors of car accidents.

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

You cannot self-diagnose whiplash – you need a medical expert to examine you. But, you may be able to notice the following common symptoms of whiplash, which can be reported to a medical provider:

  • Neck stiffness or pain
  • Limited neck movement
  • Frequent headaches and migraines
  • Shoulder or back pain
  • Uncontrollable drowsiness
  • Dizziness

As a result of whiplash, people may also suffer from the additional following challenges:

  • Vision impairment
  • Ringing sound
  • Sleep irregularities
  • Focus issues
  • Depression
  • Memory loss

If you notice any of the above and have not sought medical attention, you need to do so now.

Can you recover from whiplash?

Whiplash symptoms typically do not last for more than a month. Many people find that the symptoms of whiplash fade away after a week. But, some people continue to suffer from symptoms of whiplash long after the injury was sustained. This typically occurs in people who have preexisting medical conditions or disabilities and older people.

If you are struggling with whiplash after an accident, then you may need to be aware of your legal rights to seek compensation. In some cases, people who receive compensation can then seek treatment for their injuries and relieve themselves of their whiplash symptoms.