When you’re involved in a car accident, one of the most common types of injuries is whiplash. This injury occurs when your head jolts forcefully forward or to the side due to the impact. This movement typically injures the neck and can damage sensitive tendons and ligaments, which can be extremely painful and take a long time to heal. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can take a long period of time to fully recovery from this type of injury. However, this is one of the biggest questions most people have about their recovery after an accident.
Symptoms of Whiplash
First and foremost, it can be invaluable to understand what symptoms you can expect to experience if you suffer from whiplash. While most of these symptoms will alleviate within six months, some of them can last years after your accident. In some situations, the symptoms can become permanent. Some of the most common symptoms you can expect to experience include:
- Stiffness and/or pain in the neck
- Headaches, typically at the base of the skull
- Range of motion limitations
- Pain or tenderness in the back, shoulders and arms
While these are the most common symptoms, there are others some individuals may encounter, such as:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Ringing in the ears
- Memory issues
- Blurred vision
What Is Long-Term Whiplash?
While most people see their symptoms disappear within six months of their accident, there are others who may find they don’t go away for longer periods of time or ever. If you are still suffering beyond the six month time period, you are categorized as having chronic whiplash, which means you will need more extensive physiotherapy to overcome it. You may also need painkillers for a longer period of time. For more severe cases, your doctor may also recommend using a brace to immobilize your neck and head until your neck and the ligaments and tendons can heal. This can mean you will miss more time from work and may have larger medical bills that need to be covered. Because there is no test for whiplash, it’s important to keep a close record of your symptoms and be sure to see your doctor as soon as possible after the accident.
If you are suffering from whiplash due to an accident where someone else was at fault, your doctor should be your first visit. However, after this, it’s important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you navigate the often complicated process of filing for compensation for your injuries. Whiplash can be debilitating while the symptoms last and it’s important to get the compensation you deserve as you recover from your injuries.