Whiplash is among some of the most common injury motor vehicle accident victims sustain and can range from mild to severe, producing long-lasting damage that can cause future health complications. As such, the recovery time for this soft tissue injury varies, though most recover anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Although many often regard this injury as minor, it is best to seek medical attention after a whiplash injury to ensure any damage is minimized and properly treated.
Whiplash occurs when an individual’s head violently moves forward and backward in a sudden motion, the force of which causes the muscles and ligaments in the neck to extend beyond their usual range of motion. Symptoms do not always appear right away, so if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and experienced whiplash, be sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible and pay close attention to any physical changes that might arise over the next few days.
Even in cases where whiplash is minor, this injury can impose long-term pain and discomfort, so never neglect receiving treatment.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Whiplash symptoms can take days to appear, but most typically surface within the first 24 hours of the accident that caused it. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Neck pain and muscle stiffness
- Blurry vision
Less common symptoms associated with this injury include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble with memory
- Change in sleeping patterns
- Chronic neck and shoulder pain
If your symptoms spread to your shoulders or arms, or if you experience numbness or weakness in your arms, follow up with your doctor as soon as possible since these could signify a more severe condition.
Although most minor cases of whiplash can be addressed with over-the-counter drugs, ice, and other home remedies, it is still crucial to see a doctor. Many of us often underestimate the severity of an injury and, if you decide to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, this could harm your case. When you see a doctor, this will immediately create a paper trail that shows you suffered an injury. He or she will be able to order tests to assess the damage or inflammation, and provide a record of your diagnosis and treatment.
For minor whiplash injuries, your doctor might simply prescribe an over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol or aspirin. A more severe whiplash injury might require prescription painkillers and muscle relaxants. Physical therapy is also often necessary for recovery in severe whiplash cases. Your doctor will likely recommend that you apply ice or heat to the affected area and perform simple strength-building exercises to improve flexibility in your neck.
In some cases, it is possible you might be given a foam collar to stabilize your neck, though this should not be worn for more than 3 hours at a time.
Possible Complications Caused by Whiplash
While it is not common, it is possible for whiplash to cause long-term complications, such as chronic pain or headaches. Doctors might be able to link this pain to damaged neck joints, disks, and ligaments, though this pain generally has no medical explanation.
Oklahoma City Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents can occur anywhere and at any given time when a driver acts negligently or recklessly. If you or someone you love was injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s actions, it is crucial to obtain legal representation from a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Failing to do so might mean you will have to shoulder the financial burden of paying for medical bills, physical therapy costs, lost wages, and damage done to your vehicle.
At the Law Offices of Dan Davis, our team of Oklahoma City car accident attorneys have a wealth of experience in handling car accident cases and will provide you with the fierce legal advocacy you deserve.
Contact us today at (405) 531-9983 to schedule a free consultation with a trusted member of our firm. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.