Whiplash is a common injury associated with rear-end collisions.
The National Safety Council reports that 20 percent of victims in rear-end car accidents suffer from whiplash. A whiplash victim can experience pain and soreness that lasts more than a year.
Women are more likely to suffer whiplash in a car accident because of differences in height, strength and the position of the head restraint. Children who are seated in the third row of minivans and SUVs are also at risk for whiplash injuries.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Whiplash is an injury to the neck caused by an abrupt back and forth jerking motion of the head. Whiplash causes injury to the soft tissues in the bone and spinal cord in the neck and back. The intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots may become damaged. Symptoms of whiplash include:
- neck pain and stiffness
- pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
- low back pain
- pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
- difficulty concentrating or remembering
- irritability, sleep disturbances, or fatigue
Diagnosis of Whiplash
A victim of a rear-end collision may not seek medical attention because they feel no immediate pain after an accident. However, symptoms of whiplash injuries are often delayed. Standard X-rays are often used to diagnose soft tissue injuries. CT scans and MRIs may be used to diagnose disc, muscle, or ligament damage.
Treatment of Whiplash
Pain management is a big part of treatment for whiplash. A doctor may prescribe pain relief medication along with physical therapy, massage, heat, and ice. More extensive treatments such as traction, injections, and ultrasound may be required, depending on the severity of the injury. In the past, cervical collars were used to immobilize the neck. The current trend is to encourage early and gentle movement.
According to vehicle safety researchers, the proper position of head restraints and seat belts can protect most passengers from rear-end collision injuries. Head restraints in rear-end collisions are as important as seat belts in frontal collisions.
Help from a St. Louis Car Accident Attorney
The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. has been assisting whiplash victims for more than 15 years and we can help you obtain the compensation you need for medical expenses and other losses. We offer free consultations in all personal injury cases and you never pay attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you. Contact us at (314) 361-4242.