Whiplash is an injury that often takes place in car crashes. It's most common in front-end or rear-end collisions since the head and neck move forward and back quickly.
Whiplash occurs because the structures within the normal curve of the neck are strained. The head extends too far forward and too far back in some cases. This injures the joints in the neck and causes strain, tears and other damage.
Why don't people always notice whiplash right away?
Whiplash is a sneaky condition. In the moments after a collision, you have much adrenaline coursing through your body. This holds pain at bay. The swelling whiplash causes may not happen right away, either.
However, over the next 24 to 48 hours, you may start to develop serious problems with your head and neck. It might be hard to move comfortably or you could end up dealing with dizziness, nausea or pain. Headaches are common with this condition.
After a crash, you should head to the hospital for diagnosis. If you do have whiplash, treatment with anti-inflammatory medications and the use of a brace may help your body heal faster. Sometimes, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments and other treatments can help you get back to normal faster.
Most cases of whiplash are not severe, but there is a risk of severe cases in major accidents. Continued pain might need to be treated with trigger point injections or surgery, if the joints in the neck or back are not recovering. Fortunately, surgery is rarely needed for this condition, and most patients recover over time.
If you have suffered whiplash in a car wreck due to a negligent driver, you can seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. An attorney can help you learn more about your legal options.