The first thing you will probably do after being in a car accident in Florida is to check yourself and passengers for injuries. You may look for obvious signs, such as broken bones and bleeding. However, there are certain types of injuries that you may overlook, typically because you do not feel pain until much later. Whiplash and soft tissue injuries fall into this category. Online medical resource WebMD describes whiplash as the stretching and/or tearing of tendons and ligaments in the neck. The condition is brought about by violent force, such as what occurs in an auto collision. Though whiplash symptoms may not appear for up to 24 hours after an accident, here are some tips on what to do and how you can support the healing process at home.
- Seek Medical Care: Getting medical attention is critical, not just for your physical health but also for filing a potential claim against the responsible driver. Whiplash affects the soft tissues of the neck, spine, and shoulders. Without the right diagnosis, medical intervention, and recommendations on at-home care from a doctor, your injuries could become more painful. When you visit a physician, make sure to mention whether you are experiencing:
- Severe neck pain
- Numbness or tingling in your shoulders or extremities;
- Issues with continence;
- Recurrent or shooting pain in your neck; or,
- Any other symptoms you believe could be connected to whiplash or soft tissue injuries.
Your healthcare provider may take x-rays, a CT scan, or MRI to rule out other conditions and look for any inflammation in the soft tissue, nerves, or spinal cord. In severe cases of whiplash, your doctor may prescribe pain medication to ease your comfort.
- Caring for Whiplash at Home: You should always meticulously follow the recommendations of your physician, but some of the more common home treatments for whiplash include:
- Taking over-the-counter pain medications;
- Resting and avoiding any strenuous activity for roughly a week;
- Icing the area to reduce swelling and pain, especially during the first 2-3 days after the accident;
- Applying heat, starting around 72 hours after the collision; and,
- Other types of care that depend on your specific whiplash injuries.
In addition, your doctor will probably suggest that you begin to engage in gentle movements of the affected area. Based upon your level of discomfort you may start some mild stretching after three days have passed. The point is to keep your muscles loose, without straining them.
Though you may start to feel better within a week, some additional techniques may help alleviate the stiffness that can accompany whiplash for a month or more. Practice good posture when working, and consider yoga or other relaxation activities. These tactics can relieve the strain on traumatized tendons, and ligaments, which can take longer to recover than the muscles in your neck and shoulders.
- Talk to an Ocala, FL Car Accident Lawyer About Whiplash Injuries
Another important step after receiving whiplash injuries in an auto crash is to contact an experienced car accident attorney right away. You may be able to recover compensation for your losses, but you put your rights at risk if you wait too long. For more information, please call 352-558-8480 to reach Piccin & Glynn, Attorneys at Law. You can also visit us online to set up a free consultation.