Whiplash is one of the most common injuries suffered by car crash victims. Whiplash is especially common after rear-end collisions. The symptoms of whiplash can be subtle at first, developing over the hours or days following an accident. Even a minor rear-end collision, however, can lead to chronic pain, limited range of movement, and other symptoms of whiplash injury. If you think you are suffering from whiplash after a car accident, it’s time to see a doctor. Read on to learn about how to identify and respond to whiplash after a car crash, and call a dedicated New York rear-end accident attorney if you’ve been hurt by a negligent driver in the Bronx or throughout New York City.
How Does Whiplash Happen?
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by the sudden whipping of the head back and forth after a sudden impact when the torso is pushed in one direction while the head and neck are sent in a different direction. The head flails about like the crack of a whip, causing damage to the bones in the spine as well as the nerves, tendons, muscles, and ligaments of the neck, back, and shoulder.
Whiplash is most common after car accidents, especially rear-end collisions. Whiplash injury can occur even in low-speed collisions because the head is sent whipping back and forth at speeds much higher than even the speed of the vehicles that collided. Whiplash can also be caused by physical assault or contact sports such as football.
Symptoms of Whiplash Injury
Whiplash can manifest in many ways. Whiplash can cause damage to bones in the spinal cord as well as the soft tissue in the neck, shoulders, and back, leading to a variety of physical and neurological symptoms. After a rear-end collision, it’s important to watch out for signs of whiplash injury including:
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Weakness, tingling, or numbness in the arms, hands, and fingers
- Back, shoulder, or arm pain
- Limited range of motion in the neck
- Blurry vision
- Trouble sleeping
- Fatigue and over-tiredness
- Ringing in the ears
Whiplash symptoms can creep up on a person after a car accident. It’s worth seeing a doctor after any car accident if you have any suspicion of injury, but it’s especially important if you’ve actively noticed symptoms of whiplash or other serious harm. You’ll need an accurate diagnosis from a doctor to properly identify your condition; whiplash can often be confused with broken bones, concussions, or other conditions that may require immediate treatment.
Proper diagnosis and treatment of whiplash are necessary to avoid worsening the injury and causing unnecessary additional damage. The exact treatment will depend upon the severity and nature of your injury, your age and health, as well as your preferences and tolerance for different treatment options. Treatment for whiplash often includes one or more of the following:
- Ice pack application for the first day
- Cervical collar where necessary to limit movement
- Gentle, but active, movement after the first day (lack of physical movement can actually create additional stiffness and worsen the condition)
- Medicines, including muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen
- Physical therapy
- Osteopathic treatments
More severe cases of whiplash may require more extensive treatment. Talk to your doctor about what treatment plan is right for you, and talk to your injury lawyer to find out how to get your bills covered by insurance and/or negligent drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash in New York, get help seeking damages from an experienced professional by contacting a Bronx car crash lawyer at the Kohn Law firm for a free consultation at 718-409-1200.