Car Accidents and Serious Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash From an Auto Accident – One of the most common forms of motor vehicle crash injuries is whiplash. Whiplash usually happens when you are in a vehicle and rear-ended by another vehicle. It is a serious injury that damages the soft tissues and muscular tissues in the neck area. It is important to know that whiplash may also happen if your head is resting against the headrest. The sudden impact of the collision causes your head and neck to move forward then backward in harsh, jarring movements, which cause the muscles, ligaments and tendons to flex beyond their normal capabilities, resulting in serious whiplash injuries.
Whiplash and TMJ
Although most whiplash injuries are thought to be minor and will often heal within a few weeks after the accident, serious complications can occur as a result of whiplash. There are long-term effects of whiplash that may require lengthy medical treatments. One of the most common complications associated with whiplash is temporomandibular joint syndrome, also known as TMJ. Symptoms of TMJ may include pain while chewing, locking of your jaw and speech problems. It can often be treated with heat and cold therapy, ultrasound, medications and/or laser therapy. But, in some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged tissue and/or to repair chips in the joint.
Whiplash symptoms may occur immediately after the accident or it could be a day or two before you become aware of the symptoms. The pain can last for several hours to several months, depending on the severity of your injury. If the collision is extreme, it may cause serious and permanent damage to the spine. The most common symptom of whiplash is pain in the top area of your back, just below the neck base. Tingling sensations, burning, and pain and/or numbness in the shoulder may also occur with whiplash.
Some of the other symptoms associated with whiplash may include:
- Stiff back
- Frequent, severe headaches
- Pain that radiates from the neck to your shoulders and/or arms
- Problems swallowing
The type of treatment recommended varies, depending on the severity of your whiplash injuries. For a mild case, whiplash is often treated with hot/cold therapy, chiropractic care and pain medications. In some situations, a neck brace may be required to keep your neck mobile, which will allow the injury to heal correctly and to help prevent further damage to the neck and/or spine. Your doctor will typically order an x-ray, CT scan or MRI to determine how severe the injury is. Surgery is sometimes necessary if there is damage to the vertebrae in your spine as a result of the whiplash.
If you have been in a an automobile crash and suspect you have a whiplash injury, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible in order to prevent any serious complications from the whiplash. Whiplash is a serious as well as painful condition that often times requires years of therapy, medical treatments and surgeries to repair the damages. These treatments are expensive and may interfere with your daily activities. An auto accident injury attorney will be able to help you file a claim to receive compensation for your injuries. Call now to speak with a whiplash injury attorney today. 1-909-325-6032.