If you feel a tightening in your neck and shoulders after a car accident or another kind of incident that snaps your head forward or backward, you may have a condition known as whiplash. The symptoms of whiplash might not appear for a while, so it’s important to pay attention to any physical changes for a few days following any accident. Here are some facts about and common symptoms of whiplash.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash results when the soft tissues (the muscles and ligaments) of your neck extend beyond their typical range of motion. It is, of course, important to see a physician if you suspect you have this condition or any other ailment following any kind of accident. And while whiplash is thought of as a mild condition, it can also sometimes be followed by an extended period of pain and discomfort.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash?
Whiplash can occur immediately following an accident or it may show up several days later. This is why it is important to see a doctor following any accident that may cause this condition even if you feel fine at the time. Common signs of whiplash include:
Decreased range of motion
How is Whiplash Diagnosed?
Normally, your doctor will ask you questions about your injury such as when it occurred, where and when pain began, etc. He or she will also check your range of motion as well as look to see if you have physical signs of injury. Using tests, such as CT scans and MRI, your doctor can assess any damage or inflammation in the soft tissues, spinal cord, or nerves. Certain imaging studies, such as diffuse tensor imaging (DTI) or positron emission tomography (PET scan), may be also helpful, especially when there may be a brain injury.
As you can see, it is always in your best interest to be very cautious following any kind of accident. If you do suffer from whiplash in an accident caused by another person then you will need a personal injury attorney to help guide you through this difficult area of the law and to help make you whole again. Our office handles these kinds of cases as well as workers' compensation cases.