Whiplash occurs when the normal curve of the spine is changed by a person’s head moving backward then forward too rapidly. This most often occurs in rear-end automobile accidents, but is also common with athletes or while riding roller coasters.
Whiplash may seem simple – just a bit of neck pain or discomfort. But when, and how, can it turn into a serious injury?
An Uncertain Injury
Unlike broken bones, whiplash is an injury that may not present physical symptoms right away. Oftentimes, it can take hours or even days for inflammation to occur and pain to become noticeable, and this varies from person to person. Many people fail to report whiplash to their doctor because of this reason, and the symptoms increase in severity as time goes by.
Pre-Injury Health Conditions
While this is not always the case, occasionally prior health conditions can determine whether or not whiplash will become chronic. Individuals with a history of skeletal or muscle problems have a higher risk of developing chronic whiplash pain. The same is true for individuals who suffer from generally poor health, most likely due to their body’s inability to recover.
Although less common than neck and shoulder pain/tenderness, other symptoms caused by whiplash can include:
- Blurry vision
- Memory issues
- Ear ringing
- Inability to concentrate
- Numbness in the arms or legs
If any of these symptoms occur, be sure to see a medical professional. It’s important to rule out the possibility of a traumatic brain injury or other serious issue.
Always Take Action
If you are experiencing prolonged pain in your neck, shoulders, or head after having an accident, always talk to your doctor. Do not assume that it is “just whiplash” and will go away on its own. This may be the case, but chronic whiplash can easily be a possibility as well as additional symptoms and problems. It’s always best to have a professional rule out the more serious potentials.
If you or a loved one has been in an accident and are experiencing debilitating whiplash pain, it can pay to have an experienced attorney on your side. The expert attorneys at Lorenzo & Lorenzo have years of experience with personal injury cases, specifically back and neck injuries. Call today for a free consultation of your case.