In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, people may think they do not have injuries. If people experience neck pain in the days following the accident, though, they may have an injury called whiplash.
Whiplash is one kind of injury that people may sustain during a collision. According to the Mayo Clinic, people incur whiplash if their head snaps back and forth quickly. This rapid movement does not just affect the muscles in the neck. The nerves, ligaments, and spinal disks may also sustain damage.
What are the symptoms?
If people have whiplash, they may experience a wide variety of symptoms. While many people feel stiffness and pain in their necks, they may also have headaches. Some people may feel tired or dizzy, and others may have a decreased range of motion in their necks. In some situations, people may have trouble sleeping or concentrating or experience ringing in their ears.
People should see their physician when they first begin experiencing symptoms. Because whiplash can affect other tissues in the neck, people need to make sure they do not have a more serious injury.
How long does whiplash last?
Many people may not experience symptoms for very long. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, whiplash injuries usually take a few days or weeks to heal. In some situations, people may experience symptoms for a few months after the collision. While they heal, some people may be able to treat their injuries with anti-inflammatory medications and by applying heat. Others, however, may need physical therapy if they experience a decreased range of motion.
If people experience more serious cases of whiplash, they may need to work with their insurance company to help cover the cost of their treatment.