Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries, whiplash being one of the most common.
If you have symptoms of a whiplash injury after a motor vehicle crash, you should not panic, but it is important to seek medical attention promptly.
What causes whiplash?
Whiplash occurs when a sudden movement or force, such as a sudden stop in a car accident, forces your head to move in a back-and-forth motion, straining your neck. Generally, women and older adults are most at risk of sustaining a whiplash injury.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
Whiplash symptoms can range from nonexistent to severe. A mild case can cause stiffness and tenderness in the neck. More severe cases can cause muscle spasms and pain. The most serious whiplash injuries can produce neurological symptoms, including:
- Vision problems
Severe neurological symptoms may indicate an injury to the spinal cord or vertebrae.
Should you see a doctor for whiplash?
Most whiplash injuries heal within a few weeks with rest and pain management and do not have long-lasting complications. However, even if your symptoms are mild, you should see a doctor to confirm that your symptoms are really those of whiplash and not a more serious condition. A doctor may be able to prescribe treatments to relieve your pain more effectively than home remedies.
Another reason to go to the doctor is to document your injuries. If another driver’s negligence caused the accident, you will need medical records to pursue compensation.
Whiplash is a painful but generally not life-threatening injury. However, as with all car accident injuries, it is important to take it seriously and seek medical attention.