We’ve all heard the term whiplash thrown around, but what does it actually mean?
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a rapid, forceful back-and-forth movement of the neck. It’s so named because the movement is quite like the cracking of a whip. There are many causes of whiplash. Yet, symptoms of whiplash from rear end collisions are the most common. They can also result from sporting injuries, abuse and other trauma. But remember, whiplash is NOT a neck sprain or strain. These terms refer to other types of neck injury. It’s far more severe.
The most common symptoms are stiffness and pain in the neck alongside headaches. Most whiplash sufferers recover in the space of a few months. The normal course of treatment includes pain medication, muscle relaxants and exercise. Some sufferers may opt for alternative therapies such as chiropody or massage therapy. It is rare, yet some whiplash sufferers experience chronic problems and ongoing complications. These symptoms can last anywhere between 6 months and a year. So let’s take a closer look at the kind of symptoms you’re likely to experience!
Symptoms of Whiplash from Rear End Collision
Symptoms of whiplash from rear end collision usually manifest within 24 hours. Yet in some circumstances they may take several days to develop. These signs and symptoms may include:
- Stiffness and pain in the neck and shoulders
- A decreased in mobility in the neck and shoulders
- Pain with movement of the neck
- Loss of range or motion in the neck
- Headaches which start at the base of the skull
- Pain or tenderness in upper back, arms or shoulder
- Numbness and tingling in the arms and fingers
- Tiredness and extreme fatigue
Less common symptoms of whiplash from rear end collision include:
- Blurred vision
- Tinnitus or a ringing in the ears
- Insomnia or other sleep disturbances
- Irritability and mood swings
- Difficulty maintaining focus and concentration
- Memory problems
- Depression and anxiety
The worse these problems are, the more your case will be worth.
Complications of Symptoms of Whiplash from Rear End Collision
The usual recovery period for whiplash is a few months. Yet for some people the pain can turn into a chronic issue. Every case of whiplash is different. More often than not it’s hard to predict a long-term outcome. Generally chronic pain is most likely if there is a rapid onset of pain after the incident. This includes neck pain, headaches and pain that travels down the arms to the fingertips.
Upon consulting with a doctor details of the event will be discussed. Some doctors may ask you to fill out a questionnaire to assess your symptoms. This will help them to understand the severity of your symptoms. The questionnaire will also show how your ability to do routine tasks has been affected. During a typical whiplash examination your doctor will test your mobility. Your doctor will need to move your neck, arms and head. Your doctor will also ask you to perform simple tasks.
These tests determine:
- Any reduced motion in your neck and shoulders
- How much motion causes or increases pain
- Tenderness of the shoulders neck or back
- The sensation and strength in your limbs
- Your reflexes
Some doctors may choose to conduct an imaging test to further diagnose whiplash. Yet, imaging tests aren’t always accurate as the minute injuries may not be visible.
Methods of secondary diagnosis for whiplash include the following tests:
- X-Rays to identify fractures, tears and dislocations
- CT Scans to reveal possible bone damage
- MRI scans which produce 3D images to detect bone and soft tissue injuries. Along with damage to the spinal cord, disks or ligaments.
The main aim of whiplash treatment is to control pain and restore normal range of motion in the neck. Also, to help you return to your normal activities as soon as possible. The treatment prescribed will vary depending on the severity of the whiplash. For less severe cases home care and over-the-counter medication may suffice. Other sufferers may need a specialized treatment plan including physical therapy.
There are many ways to lessen the pain. The following are examples of what your doctor may recommend: Rest, especially after the first 24 hours after the incident. Yet prolonged rest may increase recovery time.
- Apply heat to the neck up to six times a day for up to 15 minutes.
- Over-the-counter pain relief. Tylenol and Ibuprofen can often control mild whiplash pain.
- Prescription pain relief. In more serious whiplash cases patients may need prescription pain killers short-term.
- Muscle Relaxants to control pain and combat insomnia.
- Lidocaine numbing injections to decrease pain.
- Stretching and movement exercises. These specific exercises help to restore the range of motion in your neck.
Exercises may include:
- Rotating your neck and shoulders in both directions
- Tilting your neck and stretching from side to side
- Resting your chin on your chest
If home exercises prove unsuccessful. You may need to try physical therapy. Especially if you are experiencing chronic pain. Physical therapy will strengthen muscles, restore movement and improve posture. Your physical therapist will create a customized routine that you will then be able to carry out at home.
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Malnar Law, P.C. has over 10 years experience in successful personal injury claims. All cases are handled on a no win no fee basis from the most reputable lawyer in Colorado Springs. Malnar Law, P.C. will fight for the justice you deserve and recover what you’re entitled to. Filing a claim for Symptoms of Whiplash from Rear End Collision doesn’t have to be daunting if you do it through Malnar Law, P.C., so get in touch today!