Some think of whiplash as a minor injury that can be easily treated. However, the reality is that this injury can be much more serious and debilitating than many people realize. If left untreated, it may have some long-term effects, such as ringing in the ears, permanent neck impairment and chronic back pain.
Whiplash may occur when the head and neck are forcefully jerked forward and backward. This sudden movement can cause damage to the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the neck. The force may also damage the disks in the spine.
Whiplash symptoms can vary widely, but they often include a stiff and sore neck, headaches and pain in the shoulders and arms. In more severe cases, whiplash can also cause dizziness, fatigue and even depression.
Do symptoms take long to manifest?
One of the most concerning aspects of whiplash is that it can take days or weeks for the symptoms to appear. Unfortunately, this means many people may not realize that they have whiplash until long after the accident. This delay can make diagnosing and treating the condition more difficult.
How serious is it?
Whiplash can lead to chronic pain and even disability. Many people who have whiplash find that their symptoms persist for months or even years. They may experience pain, stiffness and limited range of motion in their neck. They may also have difficulty sleeping, concentrating and performing daily activities. Furthermore, in some cases, it can lead to long-term damage to the spinal cord, leading to chronic pain and nerve damage.
Available treatment options
The good news is that a variety of treatment options are available for whiplash. Physical therapy, chiropractic care and massage therapy can all help reduce pain. Medications such as painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxers can also be used to manage symptoms. However, in some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair any damage to the spinal cord.
You may be able to seek compensation if the injury was caused by someone else.