Wondering about the symptoms of whiplash? What causes whiplash? How long does it last? Who is most at risk?
We’ve put together a handy 101 to answer all your questions.
Armed with this information, you’ll be in the best position to recover. The effects of whiplash can be painful. They can also damage sufferers financially. So, we put together a comprehensive guide to your recovery.
Whiplash is a common occurrence for motorists involved in collisions. But it can be the result of any incident which causes your head to snap backwards or forwards. It is a common misconception that whiplash only effects motorists. The first tell tell sign of whiplash is a tightening across the shoulders and neck. A medical professional will help sufferers reach a diagnosis and provide medical evidence.
Here you’ll find information on how to recognise symptoms and manage the condition, alongside advice on how to gain compensation after an accident.
What Causes Whiplash?
Despite popular misconception; whiplash isn’t only the result of a motor vehicle collision. Sporting injuries along with physical assault can also result in whiplash.
Whiplash arises through damage to the structures of the neck. This includes damage to discs, ligaments, muscles and nerves. After an accident, small vessels can tear in the neck. This causes inflammatory substances to release into the neck tissue. The inflammatory substance is what causes the pain and swelling.
Whiplash usually occurs when the body is unaware of an oncoming impact. This means the body doesn’t get a chance to stabilise. The body has an automatic system which responds as soon as you become aware of an impact. This causes neck muscles to contract and protect discs and ligaments as much as possible. This can really limit the amount of damage that even relatively serious accidents can cause. Drivers who cannot see approaching vehicles aren’t able to engage this system. This leaves these passengers more at risk of neck injuries. Whatever the cause of whiplash Colorado Springs there is always the potential of compensation.
What are the signs of whiplash?
Symptoms of whiplash may present themselves immediately or several days after the incident. The most common signs of whiplash include:
- Pain across shoulders, neck and back.
- Muscle spasms.
- A decreased range of neck and shoulder motion.
- Headaches and migraines.
- A stiff immobility in the neck.
- Fatigue or extreme tiredness.
- Memory losses or disturbances.
If any of these symptoms occur after an accident, seek medical advice immediately. If you believe you’re experiencing whiplash Colorado Springs don’t delay in seeking treatment.
How is Whiplash Diagnosed?
Assessing the symptoms is the primary way of diagnosing whiplash.
As a secondary source of information MRI scans are available. Although, along with CT scans and X-rays MRI’s aren’t always accurate. The imaging often fails on picking up damage within the structures of the neck. Scans will often capture normal imaging results due to the small structures of the neck.
Are Some People More Likely to Get Whiplash?
The simple answer is yes. Some people are more prone to whiplash after an accident than others. Or even without being in an incident at all. Recent studies have highlighted the risk factors which increase your chances of whiplash.
Age: Children and those over 65 are far more likely to suffer from whiplash due to the lack of muscle. If your physical condition is poor you will find it harder to stabilise yourself upon impact.
Gender: Women are also far more likely to suffer with whiplash in comparison to men.
A history of neck pain: If you’re part of an incident and have had neck pain in the past your injuries may be more severe. This is due to the lack of strength and damage already present in the neck.
Tightness of muscle: People with manual labour jobs are likely to have tight muscles. This already present tension can result in severe pain following an accident.
How long does whiplash last?
At first whiplash may be indistinguishable from neck pain. Neck pain usually goes away completely within three months. Yet, studies show that 12-50% of people still experience persistent pain after a year.
How long the pain lasts depends on the nature of your pain and when it started. If you experienced pain straight after the incident, the pain is likely to last longer. Pain developing immediately is often a sign the damage is more severe.
The pain is more likely to manifest for longer if you experience shooting pains or memory loss.
How to treat whiplash?
The usual course of treatment consists of anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by your Doctor. For more severe pain you may need muscle relaxers on top of pain medication. It is not recommended to apply cold compresses to the affected area. Cold compresses tend to tighten muscles, which applying heat will relax the muscles.
Whiplash treatments help patients regain normal motion and flexibility in the affected area. Starting physical therapy early proves to be beneficial with recovery. The earlier physical therapy starts the better. Focus on stretching, rotating movements of the neck. Move your neck back and forth to promote a speedy recovery.
It is very rare that patients will need to wear a neck collar.
Doing home exercises 3-4 times a day for a few minutes will ease even severe whiplash pain.
Home Exercise Recovery Steps for Whiplash Colorado Springs
- Rotate your neck from side to side. Far enough to stretch out the muscles but not enough to cause pain.
- Tilt your head from side to side, moving your ear towards your shoulder.
- Move your neck in a forwards and backwards motion.
- Roll your shoulders in circular motions.
If after 3 months you are experiencing neck pain, do not delay in seeking medical advice. You may need further treatment to ease the pain and tension.
No one has to put up with whiplash Colorado Springs.
Get In Touch Today! Allen Law Firm has over 20 years of personal injury experience. Better yet, Doug is available 24/7 to discuss his client’s legal needs. He’s helped his former clients recover more than $8 million dollars over the duration of his career. So, if you’ve got whiplash Colorado Springs; don’t suffer in silence- give him a call today.