Whiplash is a nonmedical term used to describe neck pain following an injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerves in the neck. It is caused by an abnormal motion or force causes the neck to move beyond its normal range of motion normal range of motion.
Other terms for whiplash include:
• Acceleration flexion-extension neck injury
• Soft tissue cervical hyperextension injury
• Cervical sprain
• Cervical strain
• Hyperextension injury
• Neck strain
Whiplash is the most common injury resulting from car accidents. About one million Americans suffer from a whiplash injury every year.
• Whiplash often occurs along with more serious injuries
• Nearly 25% of whiplash cases result in chronic pain and disability
• 10% of people injured in car accidents experience long-term disability from whiplash
• 1 in every 7 whiplash victims will still have significant pain more than 3 years after the accident
• Whiplash may leave the neck vulnerable to future injury
• Each year, more than $30 billion is spent on whiplash injuries in the United States
Whiplash can occur in both high speed and low speed accidents. The rate of speed has no relationship to the severity of the whiplash injuries. Often there are no symptoms immediately after the crash, but symptoms occur the next morning or in the next week. So, if you experience any of the symptoms of whiplash in the weeks following an accident, it is important that you see your doctor.
Symptoms of whiplash include:
• Neck pain
• Neck swelling
• Tenderness along the back of your neck
• Muscle spasms (in the side or back of your neck)
• Difficulty moving your neck around
• Shoulder pain
• Pain in either or both arms
• Weakness, numbness, tingling, or loss of function in the arms or legs
• Pain shooting from your neck into either shoulder or arm
Some symptoms of whiplash can indicate a more serious problem. Anyone with the following symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible.
• Neck pain
• Increased fatigue
• Shoulder or arm pain
• Back pain
• Blurred vision
• Sleep disturbance or irritability in young children
Whiplash can be diagnosed with a simple physical examination. The doctor may also order x-rays in order to see if there are any fractures of the vertebrae and if the alignment of the neck has affected. The doctor may prescribe a combination of heat therapy, cold therapy, immobilization and rest, bed rest, neck massage, pain relievers, simple exercises, chiropractic care and/or physical therapy. The accident victim may not be able to work while recovering.
Most people will recover completely from a whiplash injury in about first six weeks. For others, the symptoms will steadily improve over a year. However, about 20% of whiplash victims still experience symptoms after two years.
Whiplash is one of the accident injuries most frequently covered by car insurance companies. If you are suffering whiplash after a Kansas City car accident, you are entitled to compensation for your medical treatment, lost wages and pain and suffering. However, the insurance company will work hard to minimize the amount they must pay you. A Kansas City accident attorney can help.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.