What is whiplash?

There are, of course, multiple ways that an individual can sustain injury in an automobile accident. However, the most common type of soft tissue injury in the aftermath of an accident is whiplash. “Soft tissue” injuries refer to injuries sustained by ligaments, muscles and tendons. Whiplash occurs most often in rear-end collisions.

The medical community refers to whiplash as a “hyperextension” injury. According to FindLaw, you may believe that your whiplash is minor at first but whiplash can be the source of chronic serious pain if a doctor does not treat it properly.

What are potential consequences from a whiplash injury?

Many people do not realize that they are suffering from whiplash right away. Particularly if you are in the “heat of the moment” after an accident, you may not feel any pain at all. In fact, many people do not seek prompt medical attention for whiplash, even after they start to feel pain symptoms.

This decision can have serious consequences. Whiplash often starts as just general neck pain, but it can lead to difficulty concentrating and serious memory problems. You may even require surgery if the whiplash is severe enough.

How should I handle whiplash?

Seeking prompt medical attention is paramount. If a doctor catches whiplash early, potential remedies include taking muscle relaxants or physical therapy. You may also need to wear a neck brace in certain cases.

Be alert if you have recently been in a car accident, particularly a rear-ender. If you start to experience stiffness or pain in your neck or back, make sure to seek medical attention immediately. It can take a few days for your whiplash symptoms to materialize.