Have you recently been involved in a car crash? Did you feel pain in your neck afterward?
If so, then you may have experienced whiplash, which occurs when your head rapidly moves backward and forward. Car crashes are among the most common causes of this injury, with others being contact sports and physical assault.
Now, you must be wondering “What does whiplash feel like?” With our knowledge of injuries and law, you can figure out what symptoms to look out for and the best to recover physically, mentally, and emotionally.
If you were in a car crash and your neck hurts, then follow this guide to figure out what whiplash feels like and how to get back on your feet.
1. Impact of Accidents
People can suffer from whiplash through a variety of situations when it comes to car accidents. Someone may suddenly stop in front of you to cause the rapid back-and-forth movement, or you could get hit from behind by someone who isn’t paying attention to what’s in front of them.
The size of the cars involved in the accident may also determine your chances of experiencing whiplash. You can be in a regular car and got hit by a van or truck, or you could have been riding a motorcycle and got hit from the back by a sedan.
2. Main Symptoms
When it comes to how to tell if you have whiplash, there are certain symptoms that you need to look out for immediately after the accident. Among the most common symptoms, which develop within the first 24 hours of the injury, is pain and stiffness in the neck.
Your neck is affected by whiplash in other ways, such as a loss of range in motion and increased pain when you try to move it. You might also experience headaches, which usually begin at the base of the skull in this case.
Other signs of whiplash include fatigue and dizziness, which may vary depending on the impact that the cars make. If you feel either of these symptoms, then it is best that you seek help immediately and try to keep your movements to a minimum.
The pain you feel from whiplash can spread to other parts of your body, such as your arms and back. Sitting in a car accident makes you vulnerable to lower back pain, and the impact can result in pain or numbness in your shoulders, arms, and hands.
3. Additional Signs
There are additional whiplash symptoms that you need to keep an eye out for, some of which may take more time to show up. One of them is blurred vision, which may have a greater effect if areas near your eyes made a certain amount of impact on the steering wheel or other parts of your car.
Some of these symptoms affect your mental functions more than how the rest of your body feels. For instance, you may experience problems with memory, including remembering events that occurred both recently and further in the past.
You may also have trouble concentrating, which may vary depending on the impact of the accident and the situation you are focusing on. Whiplash also affects your mood by making you more irritable and at a greater risk of depression.
If you’re still wondering “What does whiplash feel like?,” victims are also more likely to experience sleep disturbances. This can affect the energy you have throughout the rest of the day, as well as your ability to recover.
4. Recovery Time
The amount of time it takes for these symptoms to go away depends on a variety of factors, one of which is the severity of the accident. While most whiplash injuries heal within six weeks, others experience neck pain and other symptoms years later, and even for the rest of their life.
Additionally, age plays a role in the effect that whiplash has on a car crash victim, as older people are at a greater risk of experiencing symptoms. Preexisting neck and back pain may also increase your chances of suffering from whiplash symptoms.
If you have experienced whiplash before in a car accident or other situation, you will be dealing with more symptoms than someone who is experiencing it for the first time.
5. Diagnosis and Treatment
You must seek medical assistance immediately after an accident in order to see if you are suffered from whiplash or other injuries. Your doctor may ask questions about how you feel at the moment or during the accident, as well as provide a physical exam to test pain and range of motion.
Doctors may run other tests to make sure that your initial injuries aren’t affecting the rest of your body. That’s where X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs come in, as they examine for connections to other injuries as well as problems with the spine or tissues.
The most common treatments for whiplash are physical therapy and medications such as aspirin and Tylenol. Other options for easing symptoms include massages, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and electronic nerve stimulation.
You might need prescription painkillers and muscle relaxants to deal with muscle spasms and other more serious injuries. Other tips you’ll want to follow for reducing symptoms include apply ice or heat to affected areas and keeping your posture in good form.
6. Legal Action
If you know that you were not at fault of the accident, you may need to file a lawsuit to make sure you are compensated. If you don’t already know a legal professional with experience in this situation, then you need to find one right away.
When filing a whiplash injury claim, it helps to have as much evidence from the accident as possible to prove your innocence. Examples include photos and videos of the accident, as well as the word of eyewitnesses and those involved in the accident.
You may also need to talk to your insurer to go over your coverage.
Describe to your lawyer how whiplash has made it difficult to go about everyday tasks and perform at your job. You might learn more information about short-term and long-term effects, as well as what you are owed in the case.
Our Take on “What Does Whiplash Feel Like?”
When it comes to the answer to “What does whiplash feel like?,” you may experience pain that can last for a long time if not treated.
With the right care and legal action, you can recover from your accident and preserve your physical, financial, and emotional well-being.
For more of our legal expertise, check out our guides and call today to ensure a better future for yourself.
Seth Bader is an Auto accident, Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Atlanta, Rome, Savannah, Norcross, Carrollton, Georgia. He graduated from Florida State University College of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years. Seth Bader believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.