Whiplash car accident
Whiplash Car Accident
“It was only a minor fender bender, so why does my neck hurt?” Well, let’s start with the facts – you are not crazy. There is a good chance that, even though you were only in a minor fender bender, you have whiplash! But what exactly is whiplash and how can you go about treating it? Let’s have a quick “Whiplash 101”:Whiplash Car Accident 101.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a term that refers to a type of neck injury. It occurs with sudden changes in the position of the neck. In fact, the term whiplash was actually derived from the movement that creates it. Whiplash occurs when the neck thrashes back and forth in a sudden “whipping motion”. Many people relate it to the “cracking of a whip”. When the neck is “whipped” back and forth, muscle strains and injuries can occur. Aside from the muscles, whiplash can cause damage to the nerves, the discs, and even the ligaments in the neck and back. Yes, that’s right – we said back.
Whiplash, though commonly thought of as a neck injury, can also affect the back! While whiplash can occur in any type of car accident, it is most commonly seen in rear end collisions. Minor whiplash injuries can result in pain and decreased movement abilities. Other symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, and tingling in the arms. These symptoms usually take time to develop. Some may develop in as little as 6-8 hours following an accident, while others can take weeks or even months to present themselves. If symptoms of whiplash are not dealt with promptly, they can lead to long-term chronic pain. Short term pain is usually related to muscle injuries. Chronic pain is usually related to nerve damage.
Whiplash Car Accident 101: What is it about Whiplash that causes pain?
On first look at whiplash, it is not always easy to determine what is causing your pain. There are several different things that whiplash can affect, each of which causes different types of pain. For example, when the muscles and ligaments have been strained, they are usually expected to heal within 6-10 weeks. Disc or joint injuries, on the other hand, can lead to chronic, long-term pain. Let’s take a closer look:
- Facet joint pain – This is the most common cause of chronic neck pain following an accident. This type of pain usually stems from just to the right or left of the centre back of the neck. Many times joint pain is often mistaken for muscle pain. In the long run, muscle pain will subside while joint pain will persist.
- Disc injury – This is another serious injury of whiplash that can lead to chronic neck pain. Our discs allow for the motion of our neck, and also prevent our necks from moving around too much. When whiplash occurs, the disc can tear. In most cases, the disc will heal itself over time. But for some, it can become weaker and make everyday activities difficult.
- Nerve injuries – In rarer cases, a disc can herniate and pinch a nerve. When this happens, an individual may feel more pain in their arms than they do their neck.
- Muscle strain – Muscle strain is common among those suffering from whiplash. The good news is that it will usually cease after a few weeks of healing.
Whiplash Car Accident 101: Who can help treat symptoms of whiplash?
- Doctors – If you have been in a car accident, your first step is to see a doctor. This should be true regardless of whether you feel injured or not. Many injuries, like whiplash, can take time to see the onset of symptoms. As such, it is better to be safe than sorry! What can a doctor do for you?
- Firstly, they can help to diagnose your condition.
- Secondly, they can help to determine the extent of damage done. As said previously, there are several different types of whiplash, some more serious than others. It is important to determine what kind of damage occurred (joint, disc, muscle) to determine how to proceed.
- From there, a doctor can prescribe you medications to help treat the symptoms and dull your pain. While medications do not treat the actual cause, they can help to manage your pain levels until you receive further help.
- Chiropractors – That “further help” is where a chiropractor can come in. Chiropractors use all-natural techniques to help manage pain. They are specialists in the neck and back, and can perform spinal manipulations for pain management. Chiropractors believe that the body has its own unique ability to heal itself. Their job is to put your body in the proper “position” to allow your body to do just that. Chiropractors work with whiplash patients every day to help manage pain and restore the body’s natural healing abilities. In addition, they can recommend further pain management tips. Many chiropractors, for example, will recommend exercises that you can do from home to help you heal and lower your pain levels.
Whiplash Car Accident 101: How can you afford whiplash treatments?
If you have been in a car accident, you may have entitlement to compensation and benefits. In order to get these, you need to hire an attorney. An attorney can work with you from the moments following your accident to the moment you receive your settlement money. A good attorney will help to keep you calm during a time of stress by dealing with all of the stressful paperwork for you. Not only can a lawyer help to gather any evidence and documents you need to build your claim, but they can also act as a buffer between you and the insurance companies to be sure that you don’t get taken advantage of.If you need a lawyer, doctor, chiropractor or all of the above following a car accident, call 719 Pain. We can help to put you in touch with the people you need to deal with whiplash car accident symptoms and claims!