What is Whiplash Injury?
When you are involved in a personal injury accident that causes whiplash, it can be very painful. Here a few things you should know about whiplash injuries:What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a non-medical term describing a range of injuries to the neck caused by or related to sudden and abnormal motion to the neck. The term "whiplash" was reportedly first used in 1928. The term "whiplash injury" describes damage to both the bone structures and soft tissues of the neck, while "whiplash associated disorders" describes a more severe and chronic condition.
Whiplash is commonly associated with car accidents, motorcycle accidents and other motor vehicle accidents, usually when a motor vehicle has been hit in the rear and the head moves backwards then forwards; however, the injury can be sustained in many other ways, including from dog attacks or falls from chairs, bicycles or horses. Whiplash injury is one of the main injuries seen in car accidents and is covered by car insurers when resolving car accident claims.
A whiplash injury may also be the result of abnormal stretching of the spine, mainly the anterior longitudinal ligament (the ligament that runs down the anterior surface of the spine) which is stretched or tears, as the head snaps backwards and then forward causing a whiplash type injury. These extreme motions push the neck muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range of motion, causing injury.
Whiplash injuries can be mild or severe. Some people recover from whiplash in just a few weeks, while others with whiplash injuries develop chronic conditions that can be extremely painful and disabling for years. If you experience these injuries as a result of whiplash, talk to a Woodland Hills whiplash injury attorney who can help you get financial compensation for these injuries.Treatment for Whiplash
Fortunately, whiplash is typically not a life-threatening injury, but it can be very painful, restrict range of motion and activities, including work activities. This could potentially cause loss of earnings, or lead to a prolonged period of disability.
Treatment typically begins with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice applied to the painful neck muscles. If pain persists, medical care, prescription medications, physical therapy and exercises may be helpful. In more extreme cases, consultations are required with orthopedic surgeons, neurologists and/or neurosurgeons; and sometimes neck surgery, including cervical fusion, laminectomy or laminoplasty surgery, may be required.What Symptoms Should You Look for?
The most common symptoms related to whiplash injury from accidents include:
- Neck pain and stiffness, headache, shoulder pain and stiffness,
- Dizziness, fatigue, jaw pain (temporomandibular joint symptoms -- TMJ),
- Arm pain, arm numbness and weakness, visual disturbances, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and
- Back pain.
In the more severe and chronic case of "whiplash associated disorder", symptoms may include:
- Depression, anger, frustration, anxiety,
- Severe pain to neck, shoulder and arm, with weakness and numbness to arm,
- Stress, drug dependency, post-traumatic stress syndrome,
- Sleep disturbance (e.g., insomnia), social isolation.
Even though whiplash is not a life-threatening injury, it can still be painful and require medical attention. If your whiplashed was caused by a careless or negligent act of another person, you can get compensation for your injuries including the cost of all medical care, from over the counter medicine to serious surgeries.