It’s quite common to experience whiplash during a car accident. This is because of the way the force of the crash impacts the body and the way the head, neck, and back are forcefully thrown back and forth. What may be not so well-known are the long-term problems that come with whiplash. Depending on how severe the crash was, whiplash can be with you for a long time, if not forever, giving you pain and mobility issues. Suppose you have been in a car accident and think your neck and back pain is just going to go away on its own after a couple of days. In that case, it may be worth your time and health to have yourself checked out by a medical professional and start the recommended treatment as soon as possible.
In other cases, the signs and symptoms of whiplash may not become apparent until weeks or months after the accident. If this has happened to you, there’s no time to waste. Get yourself checked out as soon as symptoms appear and follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to avoid dealing with this issue for longer than necessary.
How Does Whiplash Happen?
Ironically, though wearing a seatbelt may offer you safety during a car accident, it may also result in your body being unable to respond in a natural way to the impact of the forces during the crash. Therefore, your body goes from a resting position to being thrown about in a matter of seconds. What’s more, you may find that the jolt is repeated more than once, not only during the impact itself but also as the car skids along the road. As your head and neck are violently jerked back and forth very quickly, tissues, nerves, discs, muscles, and your spine may experience painful and potentially lifelong injuries.
What Are The Main Symptoms Of Whiplash?
If you’ve been experiencing pain in your upper back, neck, and head, you may be dealing with whiplash. Other symptoms of whiplash include the following:
- Pain in your neck and shoulders
- Difficulty moving
- A stiff neck
- Memory problems due to traumatic brain injury from the accident
- Difficulty focusing or blurry vision
- Migraines or constant headaches
- Dizziness or vertigo
You may have one or more of the above symptoms or may experience others. Your doctor is the best way to know for sure what is going on with your body and how to treat it.
How Soon Do Whiplash Symptoms Appear?
In the majority of cases, whiplash symptoms appear less than a day after the accident, but everyone’s body reacts in a different way, and your symptoms may take longer to appear. Also, the severity of the crash and your injuries determine how long you will experience whiplash. Minor cases tend to resolve themselves in a matter of days due to the body’s ability to heal. Yet if there are more extreme injuries, you may be dealing with lifelong suffering.
What Whiplash Symptoms Tend To Become Permanent?
Depending on how severe the accident was, you may be saddled with chronic pain, tingling, weakness in the back or arms, pain in the upper back, stiffness, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others. Also, irritability and mood changes may appear, even when there are no physical symptoms.
It’s important to note that whiplash injuries happen very close to the brain. This can cause catastrophic injuries that can forever alter your way of life. In some cases, surgery is called for, and mobility issues may arise.
You should take the accident as having potentially serious consequences to your health and take the necessary steps to ensure that you’re fine, with no hidden injuries or mental health issues. It may also be worth your time considering getting legal help after a car accident. Talking to a personal injury lawyer will allow you to understand your options while having someone who will fight for your rights and help you get the compensation you need. Focus your energy on recovering your health, and let a legal professional take care of making the at-fault party accountable for their actions.