Broken bones, bruises, cuts, scrapes, and lacerations often come to mind when you think of car accident injuries, and these types of obvious trauma certainly require immediate medical treatment. However, one of the most common types of auto collision injuries is not so easy to see: Whiplash. University of Florida Health medical professionals define whiplash as an injury to the soft tissues of the neck and upper spine which are caused by a sudden, violent jerking of the head. Sometimes termed cervical sprain, cervical strain, or hyperextension, whiplash is common in car crashes. Unfortunately, it is also too common for victims to misunderstand the serious nature of their injuries and avoid seeking medical care. An overview of whiplash injuries is essential if you were in an Ocala, FL auto accident and have questions about your condition.
Medical Indication of Whiplash
An impact that strains the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the cervical spine may stretch the neck beyond its normal range of motion, resulting in a whiplash injury. When the force is extremely violent, there may even be tearing of these connective tissues. A medical exam is necessary to accurately diagnose whiplash and rule out other types of injuries, so you may undergo x-rays, CT scans, and other types of tests.
Whiplash Symptoms and Related Conditions
You may experience types of pain that range from mild to severe depending on the severity of your whiplash injuries. The discomfort will mostly center around the neck and upper spine; however, it is common for victims to also feel pain that radiates to the lower back and shoulders. Other symptoms include:
- Decreased range of motion, tightness, and muscle tenderness;
- Headaches which originate at the base of the skull and shoot upwards into the forehead;
- Balance and equilibrium problems;
- Lower back pain from the spine compensating for the whiplash injury;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Difficulties concentrating;
- Memory loss; and,
- Other issues.
Note that you may not suffer pain or discomfort from whiplash in the immediate aftermath of a car injury, because many soft tissue injuries do not exhibit symptoms until several hours or days after the impact.
What to do if You Suffer a Whiplash from a Car Accident
It is critical to seek medical treatment for if you think you sustained an injury, even if the symptoms do not appear right away. A doctor can rule out other medical conditions and provide a course of care to ease the pain. The most common forms of treatment are prescription or over-the-counter pain medications, rest, ice, and gentle massage to the affected area.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Attorney
As soon as you are physically able after suffering whiplash, you should consult with a skilled car accident lawyer about your situation. If you were not at fault in the crash, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. Time is of the essence in these cases, so please contact Piccin & Glynn, Attorneys at Law to schedule a consultation today. You can reach our Ocala, FL firm by calling 352-558-8480 or visiting our website.