“Ouch! The pain in my neck.” It Could be Whiplash

Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan defines whiplash as “pain and stiffness in the neck after an injury that has caused the neck to move suddenly or beyond its normal range.” Whiplash can happen when the head is quickly forced backward or rapidly forward and is then snapped again in the opposite direction. The motion causes stretching or tears and sprains of muscles and ligaments in the neck, and it may also damage the nerves. In some rare cases involving automobile accidents, whiplash may cause broken bones.

This motion commonly happens to people sitting in a car that is hit from behind but the injury can also happen from a side-impact or T-bone collision. Less commonly, whiplash can result from a serious fall, a sports and exercise injury, or if someone is roughly shaken.

Know the Symptoms of Minor Whiplash

Symptoms of whiplash do not always present themselves immediately. For example, if involved in a car wreck, the adrenalin a victim is feeling can actually make a whiplash injury unknown for some time. Once it subsides, the pain shows up and within a couple of hours to even a day later, a mild case of whiplash start to produce the following symptoms:

  • Dull, radiating pain from the neck to the arms
  • Fatigue and dizziness
  • Headache
  • Inability to move your head with ease
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Tenderness and pain in the chest, arms, shoulders and upper back
  • Tingling and numbness in the arms
  • Weakness in your arms, hands, or legs

People with these symptoms of mild whiplash usually recover within weeks or a couple of months. Pain medication, rest, as well as physical therapy and chiropractic care seem to be the most effective treatments for mild whiplash.

Whiplash vs. Serious Personal Injury

Some serious accidents can cause severe whiplash and have lasting complications that reveal a more serious injury. These types of injuries most often require extended therapy or even invasive surgeries that take months of rehabilitation and recovery time.

  • Cerebral Hemorrhage: Tearing of brain tissue that produces bleeding, which is immediately life threatening.
  • Concussion: Symptoms of concussion can include severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, blurred vision, tinnitus and mood swings.
  • Disk Damage: Severe whiplash can cause a disk to “slip,” putting pressure on the spinal cord and producing debilitating pain. Extended therapy and/or surgery will be required.
  • Spinal Cord Damage: Spinal cord trauma produces numbness, weakness and fatigue in the body below the point of injury.
  • Torn Muscles and Ligaments: When the muscle or ligament is torn or ruptured, the head will be completely immobilized. Surgery is generally required, with a recovery period of four to six months.

Anyone who has experienced whiplash should seek medical care immediately and get to an emergency room to be assessed by a professional. Immediate care will reduce the chance of complications and give you the proper documentation needed in review of making a case for the incident.

Talk to a Michigan Whiplash Attorney

The Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C., can help you get the compensation you deserve for your whiplash or serious car accident injury. Please call Lee Free and speak to our car accident or personal injury attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form. And remember, you pay nothing until we settle your car accident case.