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Whiplash can be more serious than a pain in the neck

In car crashes, a common injury is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the head is moved quickly from side to side or from forward to back. The quick whipping motion causes muscles, tendons and ligaments to strain and tear. It can also cause damage to the disks between the bones and the bones of the spinal column.

Whiplash is essentially a neck injury, but it can have a impact in several regions of the body. Some symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Stiffness
  • A stiff range of motion in the neck or shoulders
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms
  • Pain with movement
  • Tenderness in the shoulders, arms or upper back

It is possible to suffer from long-lasting complications and chronic pain from whiplash. Some less common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Tinnitus
  • Trouble sleeping

What are some common causes of whiplash?

Whiplash is not always a result of an auto accident. It can be caused by contact sports, car crashes or physical assaults.

How long does it take to recover from whiplash?

Most people are able to recover from mild forms of whiplash within a few weeks. It is common for more serious whiplash to cause symptoms that may last for months or years after the injury first occurred. It can be hard to predict how you will recover from whiplash, but with physical therapy and medications, most people do recover at least to a degree.

Older individuals, those who have previously had whiplash and those with existing pain in the neck or lower back are more likely to have worse outcomes after an injury. Those who have severe neck pain, pain in the arms or headaches when the injury occurs are more likely to suffer from chronic pain in the future.

What should you do if you suffer whiplash in a car crash?

Because of the way that whiplash affects people differently, it's smart to go to the hospital or a medical provider and to have a treatment plan arranged for your care. It may take months or years to recover, which is why it's important to talk to your attorney about filing a claim against the person responsible for your injuries. They should be asked to cover the cost of your medical care as well as any financial losses you suffer from being unable to return to work or live your life normally.

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