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The Basics of Whiplash Injuries

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Basics of Whiplash Injuries

If you were involved in a rear-end collision and now your neck hurts, you may have the injury known as “whiplash”. Whiplash is a serious injury that is associated with sudden impacts that cause a person’s body to move forward while their head remains in place. When the head follows, it does so with a whip-like motion that can cause sudden and severe extension and bending of the neck. In medical terms, this is referred to as hyperextension, hyperflexion, or a cervical strain.

Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash has several symptoms in addition to a sore neck. When seeking medical treatment following a car accident, it is important to tell your doctor about all of the problems and pain you are experiencing. In addition to helping ensure that you receive proper treatment, this can also improve your chances of receiving maximum financial compensation for your injuries. The symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Back and shoulder pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Memory problems
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Stiffness
  • Tingling and burning sensations, particularly in the arms

Most of these symptoms will manifest within 24 hours of the accident. It can typically take weeks or months to fully recover depending on the severity of the collision. However, in serious auto accidents, whiplash injuries can lead to chronic pain and other long-term conditions.

Treatment for Whiplash Injuries

Non-permanent whiplash injuries will gradually heal. However, the healing process takes time, and can interfere with your job and other day-to-day activities. Between doctor visits and prescription costs, it can also be quite expensive. Treatment for whiplash injuries typically involves:

  • Icing – Regularly icing your neck (half an hour 6 to 8 times per day) for the first few days can help to reduce swelling.
  • Heat – Using warm towels or taking a warm bath can help with pain and swelling as well. However, these should be used only after the initial 2 to 3 days of icing.
  • Medications – Muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory medications, and painkillers can help speed and ease the recovery process. If moderate use of over-the-counter options doesn’t help, your doctor may write you a prescription.
  • Stability – Your doctor may tell you to wear a neck brace. Braces need to be used carefully in order to prevent them from doing more harm than good, so you should never wear a brace unless your doctor tells you to do so.
  • Ultrasound – Ultrasound treatments can assist in repairing the soft-tissue injuries associated with whiplash.

You should speak with your doctor before undertaking any treatment or medication regimen. If your doctor advises you to rest, you should rest. If someone else was at fault in the accident, your attorney will be able to help you obtain compensation for your missed time from work (along with your medical expenses and other losses).

Contact Malman Law Today

The Chicago auto accident attorneys at Malman Law have years of experience helping clients obtain financial compensation for whiplash injuries. To learn more about what we can do to help, please contact us today.

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