Thursday, 18 March 2010

Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash injuries are typically seen in rear end accidents or rear and collisions. Whiplash is typically considered a moderate injury. However, the fact is that even a seemingly simple case of whiplash can cause future complications that lead to disability and debilitation.

A rear end accident can occur when the car that was struck is either in a still position (at a stoplight or in a traffic jam), or is moving. In either case, the occupant of the vehicle that is struck, is pushed forward from the force of impact. The body and neck first accelerate forward, followed by the head. This places extreme pressure on the muscles of the neck region, and the injuries that result are called whiplash.

Simply put, whiplash injuries are caused when the body of a person who is sitting in a still position, is forced forward by an impact from the rear, while the head is forced backwards at the same time. This can place extreme pressure on the structures of the neck, including the muscles and ligaments. The fibers of the neck muscles may tear.

Rear ending accidents do not have to be extremely serious, or involve excessive speeds for whiplash to occur. Even an accident that occurs at moderate speeds can end in whiplash injuries to the occupants of the vehicle that is struck. Besides, rear ending accidents, accidents involving occupants not wearing a seat belt, can result in whiplash injuries.

Symptoms of whiplash include:

• Severe neck pain
• Stiffness in the neck
• Pain in the lower back
• Pain in the shoulder blades
• Dizziness

Whiplash injuries are not always easy to diagnose. These injuries may be hard to detect in a regular x-ray. Diagnosis can depend on the use of CT scans, or magnetic resonance imaging. Over a period of time, these injuries can actually cause the degeneration of the spine, and spinal cord injuries.

Treatment for whiplash can depend on the use of a cervical collar, massage therapy, physical therapy, and other medical services. A person may be looking at several days off from work because of limited ability to move the neck. Any injury claim must take into account not just the medical expenses and lost wages, but also the possibility that there could be debilitating complications in the future.

If you ave suffered a whiplash injury, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical treatments, pain, and suffering.

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