5 Things to Know About Whiplash

Whiplash is a common injury that affects the neck, particularly the soft tissues encased within it. It’s caused by severe neck strain, and it’s important to know certain facts about whiplash.

How Does Whiplash Occur?

Whiplash is an injury that occurs when a person is involved in a car accident, typically a rear-end collision. The force of another vehicle hitting theirs can result in a person’s neck being shifted from its normal position. It can lead to internal changes in the neck and upper back and alter the natural curve of the neck. The neck joints, muscles and ligaments can also suffer injury as a result of extreme strain.

Whiplash Symptoms

There are several symptoms of whiplash. The first one is upper back or neck pain, which can

develop immediately or a few days after an accident. In some cases, the pain can be relatively mild, but it can be extremely painful as well. A person may experience additional symptoms, including: 

  • Shoulder pain
  • Burning or tingling sensations
  • Muscle or upper back tightness or spasms
  • Difficulty swallowing, chewing and hoarseness if the esophagus and larynx have suffered injury

In severe cases, whiplash may include injuries to the discs, joints, nerves and ligaments in the neck or upper back. However, over time, most people with whiplash make a full recovery.

Diagnosing Whiplash

In order for whiplash to be diagnosed, a person must have an X-ray taken first to determine

whether any bones are broken in their neck. Then an MRI or a CT scan is done to check for a possible herniated disc or injuries to the ligaments.

Treating Whiplash

There are certain treatments for whiplash, which include the following:

  • Soft cervical collar
  • Ice packs or heat packs
  • Prescription medication for pain and swelling
  • Physical therapy to reposition the joints and muscles in proper position in the neck

If the whiplash is severe, there may be other, more extensive treatments needed. Generally,

surgery is usually not necessary but is only done if herniated discs don’t heal with other treatment options.

Preventing Whiplash

One way to prevent whiplash while driving is to properly wear a seatbelt. The driver’s seat headrest should also be in the right position and not too low. Drivers should avoid reclining their seats as well. Anyone who plays sports should wear the right protective gear, especially if they participate in contact sports.

Kansas Car Accident Attorneys

Whiplash is a serious problem following a car accident, and if you develop any of the symptoms after being in an accident, it’s possible your insurance company will try to deny your claim at first. 

Joseph T. Welsh, Attorney at Law has invaluable experience representing car accident victims to help them receive the relief they desperately need to get on the road to recovery. Joseph Welsh is an advocate of the people and treats his clients as such by putting their future well-being first. Let Joseph Welsh help you file your claim today and put his many years as an attorney to work for you. He will help you get the results you need to move on with your life and begin healing. Contact our office at (620) 510-5030 for a free case evaluation.