A common but serious neck injury that often occurs in a car accident or from an impact to the head is often called whiplash. The harsh and sudden movement of the head in a back and forth jerking motion can cause tremendous damage, as a skilled neck pain doctor Gaithersburg MD relies on can explain. The forced displacement is traumatic enough to tear ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the neck. This is because the movement, rapidity, and motion are not natural. As a result, the neck muscles attempt to redirect the neck into its proper position, and this causes the muscles and tissue to overextend.
Who is most at risk of suffering whiplash?
Anyone can experience whiplash under the right, or wrong, circumstances but it’s most commonly seen among:
- Car accident victims, particularly those who are impacted from behind by another vehicle
- Athletes and other contact sports participants
- Slip and fall accident victims
- Bicycle accident victims
What are the most common symptoms of whiplash?
If you have reason to believe you may be suffering from whiplash, you should see a medical professional immediately. Here are common symptoms that could indicate you are suffering from whiplash:
- Pain that increases as you move
- Neck stiffness or pain
- Sensation of numbness or a tingling in the arms
- Upper back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Blurry vision
- Muscle spasms
- Memory loss
- Ringing in the ears (also known as tinnitus)
This symptoms may not present until a day or two following the accident. For this reason, it is important to seek medical attention immediately if your head or neck underwent traumatic movement.
The Importance of Seeking Immediate Medical Help
Because symptoms do not always present immediately, an injury victim may not realize they have been seriously hurt. This results in them not only being treated for the original injury, but it carries the risk of the victim further injuring themselves as a result. In the most serious instances, long term damage can result.
- A severe blow to the head after an auto accident can force the brain to smash against the skull. The skull bone can cause serious and even life-threatening bruising of the brain tissue.
- A bruise on the brain can result in nerve damage and break the blood vessels. Without proper treatment, long term damage is possible, and can make one vulnerable to future concussions.
- If the brain does not have proper time to heal after a concussion, it is vulnerable to a fatal swelling condition if injured again.
Seeking Damages from the Negligent Driver
Another reason why it is so important to get immediate medical attention is that you will need to document the injury in order to receive compensation from the negligent driver.
- The at-fault driver’s insurance company will require proof of your injury. For this, there is no substitute for medical records and treatment logs.
- For optimum chances of recovery, follow your physician’s treatment plan. Document this as well because it can prevent the insurance company from accusing you of intentionally worsening your condition in order to receive compensation.
If you were injured and possibly suffered whiplash as a result, after seeking medical help, contact an attorney without delay. A personal injury lawyer can review your case at no charge. If it is prudent to pursue a damages claim or lawsuit, a personal injury lawyer by your side can help you recover maximum compensation from the person responsible.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Pain & Arthritis Relief Center for their insight into common whiplash symptoms.