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What Is Whiplash?

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Do you remember those big, thick foam collars that used to be used for neck injuries? They are called “cervical collars,” and they are rarely used to treat neck injuries any more.

Whiplash is the name given to neck injuries that result from a “forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip.” Car accidents are the biggest cause of whiplash. Whiplash is most likely to result in a rear-end accident. However, they can also happen in side-impact crashes, as well as in fights, domestic violence, and sports.

Whiplash can cause a variety of symptoms, some surprising:

  • headaches, usually starting in the back of the head near the neck;
  • neck pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion;
  • shoulder and upper back pain;
  • arm pain, tingling, or numbness;
  • tiredness;
  • dizziness;
  • trouble sleeping, concentrating, or remembering; and
  • blurry vision or ringing ears.

Whiplash can be very painful. Although most whiplash symptoms come on quickly, they can change or worsen over time.

Whiplash is diagnosed using a medical examination and, sometimes, X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs.

Treating whiplash usually involves neck and shoulder exercises, as well as nonprescription pain medicine like ibuprofen. These treatments help to reduce pain and increase range of motion. Depending on your injury, your doctor may also have you apply ice or heat to the affected area. In stubborn cases, your doctor may prescribe prescription pain medicine, muscle relaxers, or pain injections.

Treatment is not always effective. Some people continue to have problems for many months or even years.

If you were injured in a car wreck and suffered whiplash or other painful injuries, the Gray Law Group, LLC can help. To schedule a free appointment, contact the experienced lawyers at our firm by calling (504) 264-5552.