What Is Whiplash and How Do You Treat It?

by | Jan 29, 2018 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Whiplash is a common car accident injury that occurs when the head moves forward and then backward rapidly. This sudden, violent motion essentially stresses the cervical spine, straining it.

Rear-end collisions are a leading cause of whiplash, but this kind of neck injury can ultimately occur in any scenario that jerks the head enough to strain the muscles and tendons in the neck. For example, those who play contact sports or take part in extreme activities like bungee jumping are also prone to whiplash.

If you developed a head, neck, or back injury in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. To determine if you have grounds for a claim, contact The Downs Law Firm.

Ross Downs can gather evidence, calculate your damages, and negotiate with the opposing party on your behalf. Call 318-284-8551 to schedule a free consultation with a car wreck attorney in Shreveport.

What Is Whiplash?

According to WebMD, whiplash is another term for neck strain, which occurs when the muscles and tendons in the neck tear. Symptoms typically develop within 24 hours of the incident that caused the strain, and they can last for days, weeks, or even months, depending on the severity of the damage. Common symptoms include:

  • Neck pain that worsens with movement;
  • Neck stiffness;
  • Tenderness in the shoulders and upper back;
  • Diminished range of motion in the upper body;
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Tinnitus;
  • Irritability; and
  • Sleep disturbances.

How Do You Treat Whiplash?

The muscles and tendons in the neck will heal over time; however, there are ways to facilitate the body’s natural healing process and relieve symptoms in the meantime. At the end of the day, the most effective approach for a particular individual will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity and location of the strain. According to the Mayo Clinic, common treatment modalities include:

  • Resting, but only during the first 24 hours after the incident;
  • Applying heat or ice to the neck and shoulders in 15-minute increments;
  • Taking over-the-counter medication to reduce inflammation;
  • Taking prescription pain relievers or muscle relaxants; and
  • Stretching daily.

Although there is little clinical research regarding their efficacy, alternative and natural remedies like massage therapy, spinal adjustments, and acupuncture are also popular approaches for treating whiplash. Some people even try transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulations (TENS) to relieve neck pain that is the result of whiplash.

As far as car accident injuries go, whiplash may seem like a relatively minor one; however, in severe cases, its symptoms can be debilitating. For example, if your range of motion is so limited that you cannot turn your head, you will not be able to drive to work, let alone put in an eight-hour day.

If you sustained whiplash or other injuries in a collision and the medical bills and lost wages are adding up fast, contact The Downs Law Firm today. Call 318-284-8551 to schedule a free case evaluation with a car wreck lawyer in Shreveport. You can learn more about accident claims in Louisiana by visiting the USAttorneys website.

To read some good tips on what to do after a car accident visit https://www.smithstag.com/auto-accidents/what-to-do-after-a-car-accident