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Whiplash: Symptoms, Impacts and Treatment

When most people think of auto accidents, “common” injuries such as broken bones and head trauma come to mind. However, another common injury often overlooked in auto accidents is whiplash, an injury that is usually sustained in rear-end accidents. Whiplash occurs when a person’s head is abruptly thrust backward and then forward upon impact. The force of impact can push the victim’s head and neck muscles beyond a normal range of motion, causing injury. Here’s a brief look at the symptoms, impacts and treatment of whiplash.

Symptoms of whiplash

The symptoms of whiplash injury generally present themselves 24 hours after a car accident. These symptoms include dizziness, blurry vision, headaches, fatigue, and pain or stiffness in the neck. Rarer, but more severe, symptoms include irritability, inability to concentrate, memory problems and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

Impacts of whiplash

Most victims of whiplash injuries recover within a few months after their diagnosis, but in some cases, individuals continue to suffer from pain and other complications for years afterward. Long-lasting — sometimes permanent — damage to ligaments, tendons, disks and joints of the neck can occur in these cases.

Treatment of whiplash

Before administering treatment for whiplash, your physician should compile a thorough case history about the onset of your injury. This history should include information such as the cause of your injury, your symptoms, what type of pain you’re experiencing, any medication you’re taking, and what movements or positions are most comfortable for you. Tests to determine if you’re experiencing whiplash include X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and other neurological exams. When whiplash is diagnosed, treatment can include ice, massage, heat and over-the-counter or prescription medications.

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident or feel that you might have experienced whiplash, get in touch with a knowledgeable Tucson car accident lawyer as quickly as possible to help get you the compensation you deserve.

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