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What Is Whiplash, And How Is It Treated?

Whiplash is a term we all have heard, but what exactly does it mean?

Whiplash is a neck injury that results from your head moving backward and then forward very fast, much like the action of the cracking of a “whip.” Whiplash is very common with a rear-end car accident. Sometimes doctors will also refer to a whiplash injury as a neck sprain or strain.

Symptoms many times include neck pain, shoulder/upper back/arm pain, loss of range of motion in your neck (meaning you can’t turn your head as far as you could before), headaches (typically starting at the base of the head) and tingling in the arms. More rare symptoms include blurred vision, ringing in the ears, irritability, sleeplessness, and memory problems.stockfresh_5272973_x-ray-image-of-neck_sizeS-219x300

If you think you might have whiplash injury or any other injury because of a car wreck, it is best to go to a doctor or hospital immediately and be examined. A big mistake many injured people make is not seeing a doctor if they are in pain. If you are in pain and do not go to a doctor, the insurance company will not believe you are in pain. The attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson are experienced in handling all types of car accident injuries, including whiplash.

When you go to the doctor because of your whiplash injury, your exam typically will include answering a series of questions regarding your symptoms and a physical exam, including the doctor touching your neck to check for swelling, tightness, and range of motion. Sometime X-rays will be taken to rule out any fractures.  Be sure to give your doctor all the information you have about your injury and symptoms, and if you don’t remember something, just say that you don’t remember.

Whiplash is often initially treated with anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, pain medication, or muscle relaxers, ice or heat, and rest. If the pain is not resolved, your medical provider might recommend chiropractic care, massage, home exercises, or even physical therapy. Be sure to follow all your doctor’s advice and keep all your appointments. By missing doctor’s appointments, you are telling the doctor, and the insurance company that you don’t hurt and your injury is not important.

Most people will recover from whiplash within 6 weeks to 3 months. However, some people do experience pain for extended periods. In more serious cases, sometimes further diagnostic testing such as CT Scans or MRIs, or even injections are required as part of a treatment plan. As the severity of whiplash can vary, it is important to have the guidance of a skilled medical professional and during your recovery.

Recovery from something as simple sounding as “whiplash” can involve many doctors’ visits and bills. That’s why it’s important to have the guidance of a skilled attorney, like those at Grimes Teich Anderson, to make sure those bills are paid by the responsible party. Our attorneys will protect your interests by making sure valuable evidence is saved, and deadlines are met. If you are injured in a car wreck, be sure not to discuss your injury or wreck on social media, including Facebook and Instagram and do not post or allow your photo to be posted.

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