One of the first complaints a person shares after surviving a rear-end collision is the pain caused by a whiplash injury. This generally occurs after the neck is suddenly hyperextended forward and then backwards. Some doctors refer to this motion as an “acceleration-deceleration” energy transfer to the neck region. Accident survivors also frequently develop serious back pain after enduring rear-end crashes.
The United States currently spends an estimated $2.7 billion a year to help people recover from their whiplash injuries. Although many survivors heal within four to six weeks, about 25 percent of whiplash patients suffer chronic neck (and lower back) pain that may remain for the rest of their lives.
Far too often, insurance company adjusters and their lawyers wrongfully assume that all these claims are false or exaggerated. While a small percentage of people may exaggerate their injuries, X-rays and MRIs often provide clear evidence of the structural damage suffered during these events. Nevertheless, some plaintiffs’ whiplash complaints are difficult to document since they involve soft-tissue damages that aren’t accompanied by visible spinal cord injuries.
Here’s a brief look at the symptoms people often exhibit after surviving a whiplash car accident. This information is followed by a quick review of different diagnostic tools and common treatment choices.
The Mayo Clinic website shares the following whiplash symptoms.
Depending upon the severity of the whiplash injuries and other direct blows to the head and other parts of the body, patients may also exhibit or report the following additional symptoms.
Your examining physician will often first ask you to try and move your neck, head, and arms in various directions to assess your pain level and any range of motion losses. Your neck, shoulders and back area will also be examined — and your general reflexes will be tested.
If your injuries appear serious, your doctor will order neck X-rays shot at different angles. To obtain further helpful images, a CT (computerized tomography) scan may be ordered or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test may be run. MRIs can prove very useful in spotting soft tissue damages and injuries to the spinal cord and disks.
If a doctor carefully examines you and determines that your whiplash injuries are relatively minor, you may respond favorably to one or more of the following, simple treatments.
Of course, if your head or neck injuries are severe, your doctor may suggest some type of surgery. Always obtain a second opinion concerning any suggested surgery since these types of procedures can prove very risky. Follow-up physical therapy and rehabilitation treatments may then help you heal even faster.
Once your doctor says its safe, consider doing regular Yoga stretches to minimize your pain.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident and have any type of injury, it is important that you contact a NYC car accident attorney as soon as possible. At Frekhtman & Associates we provide a free consultation to all our clients. Give us a call so that we can help you understand your rights. The earlier in the process we start to help, the larger the compensation possible.