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January 04, 2017

What is Whiplash?

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Posted in Wisconsin Workers Compensation Related News

Whiplash: you hear it talked about with every car accident. Also referred to as a hyperextension or hyperflexion injury, whiplash is a soft tissue injury to the neck similar to a sprain. Whiplash is common after vehicle accidents when someone is hit from behind, but can happen in any type of accident. Damage to the neck happens when there is sudden extension and flexion of the neck. Your head “whips” back and forth rapidly, causing the injury.
Every year, around 120,000 people suffer from whiplash injuries, as a top motorcycle accident lawyer trusts might explain. Whiplash can include injuries to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots. Symptoms of whiplash include:
  • Neck pain, either immediately or several days later
  • Neck stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Abnormal sensations such as prickling or burning
  • Shoulder or back pain
Sometimes, victims also suffer from cognitive, psychological, or sleep related problems such as memory loss, nervousness, fatigue, depression, sleep disturbance and/or concentration troubles.
Whiplash is most often caused by car accidents, but not always. Other accidents such as sports injuries, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, or slip and fall accidents, can all cause a hyperextension or hyperflexion injury. Any accident where your head whips back and forth can cause whiplash. While it is often thought that a whiplash injury can only occur at high speeds or high impacts, this is untrue. In car accidents, many whiplash injuries happen at lower speeds and impacts. Just how severe an injury is depends on varying factors. Where the passenger is seated in the car, how big or small they are, where the impact happens, and the size of the vehicles involved all play a part in the injury received.
Treatment for whiplash varies and depends on the severity of the injury. Pain medication, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, a cervical collar, muscle relaxants, exercises, physical therapy and cervical traction may all be warranted. Most patients feel better within three months of the injury, although some may have lasting, residual pain.
What’s Next?
If you’ve been injured in an accident, first and foremost, seek medical attention for any injury you’ve received. Make sure you are on the road to good health and have everything you need. Keep detailed records of the accident, injuries received by you or others in your vehicle, damage to your car or vehicle, if applicable, as well as your treatment plan and expenses.
If you or someone you love has suffered from a whiplash injury, particularly one that has caused you to miss work, you should consult a personal injury attorney. Liability issues in these cases aren’t always clear, and an experienced attorney may help you sort out the necessary issues.

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