Should You Seek Treatment for Whiplash?

Two people involved in a car accident.

Millions of car accidents take place every year. Unfortunately, many people are seriously injured or even killed. But sometimes people suffer from injuries that are not detected when the accident occurs. These injuries may take days or even weeks to make their presence known. Due to this delay, it can sometimes be difficult to know whether or not you have suffered from whiplash. 

Whiplash, sometimes referred to as a neck strain or sprain, occurs when your neck essentially responds to force in a manner similar to a cracked whip; it may jerk forward and back or side to side. The most common cause of whiplash is rear-ending car accidents although it can happen in an accident. 

How Do You Know if You’ve Suffered from Whiplash?

In order to determine whether or not you’ve suffered whiplash it’s the first key that you understand the symptoms that often accompany it. Such symptoms include:

  • Pain or stiffness in your neck;
  • Difficulty moving your neck normally;
  • Increased neck pain with movement;
  • A headache at the base of your skull;
  • Numbness or tingling in your arms;
  • Feelings of exhaustion/fatigue (more so than usual);
  • Pain in your shoulders, arms, or upper back; and
  • Dizziness without cause or due to head movement.

Some symptoms of whiplash are not as common but still indicative of such an injury:

  • Memory loss or other issues;
  • Difficulty focusing;
  • Blurry or change in vision;
  • New and inexplicable irritability;
  • Change in sleep pattern;
  • Feelings of extreme sadness or depression; and
  • Ringing in your ears.

What is the Prognosis for Whiplash?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive time period after which whiplash goes away. Depending upon the situation in can last mere days or even months. However, there are certain signs that make it likelier (but not certain) that your pain will last longer. These include:

  • Pain through your arms or fingers;
  • Severe pain immediately following the accident; and
  • Memory loss or other neurological issues.

In order to treat whiplash, it must first be identified. Your doctor or attending medical professional will assess your symptoms and perform an examination of your neck. Following this, he or she may order an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. While these imaging tests will not confirm that you have whiplash, they are helpful in that they can rule out other potential causes of your pain. 

If you are, in fact, diagnosed with whiplash, your doctor may order or suggest any or all of the following:

  • Hot and/or cold compresses;
  • Over-the-counter pain meds;
  • Prescription medication for the pain;
  • Muscle relaxers;
  • Cervical collar;
  • Numbing injections; 
  • Exercises to restore range of motion, and most importantly
  • Rest and relaxation.

What if You Fail to Treat Whiplash?

If you fail to identify that you have whiplash and to seek treatment for it, it can result in serious mobility issues or chronic pain. It can also lead to several other health conditions such as vertigo, migraines, degenerative disc disease, and even spinal misalignment. But luckily, with a proper plan from your doctor, you have the best chance at a full recovery. 

Additionally, if your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may decide to pursue a case for personal injury. Having notes from your doctor can also help your chances of receiving damages. 

MPJ Law Firm Can Help Those in NM Who Have Suffered Whiplash Due to Someone Else’s Negligence

If you or a loved one has suffered whiplash, it can greatly impact your life. It can be difficult enough to deal with your injuries, but it can be even harder when you are left to pick up the pieces financially. You should never have to pay the price for someone else’s mistakes. 

At MPJ Law Firm, we have a deep understanding of whiplash from car accidents and understand the effects that these injuries can have on just about all aspects of your life. We will always act in your best interest. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Personal Injury