Whiplash Symptoms – Hard to Understand

Whiplash symptoms Eastside Medical Group Cleveland

Whiplash Symptoms – Hard to Understand

Whiplash Symptoms May Be Hard for Others to Understand

A whiplash injury occurs when the head and neck (cervical spine) unexpectedly get whipped back and forth. In today’s world, this injury most commonly happens when hit from behind by a vehicle.

If your whiplash symptoms linger, it may be hard for others to relate to what you’re going through.

Some questions could include:

“You felt fine after the accident. How can you be in so much pain and discomfort weeks later?”

“My friend recovered from whiplash within a few days. Maybe it’s just in your mind?”

Despite what other people might think, whiplash symptoms can indeed be mysterious and evolve over a period of weeks and months. Some symptoms may fade away as new ones develop. While most people fully recover from whiplash within 3 months, others may experience symptoms that last much longer and become chronic.

Let’s review some key facts about whiplash to help put this injury in perspective.

Pain can be delayed

We’re used to most collision injuries becoming painful immediately. For example, if you fall and land hard on your hand, it starts hurting right away. However, a whiplash injury may take up to 24 hours or more before it becomes painful.

It is not uncommon for someone to be rear-ended by another car and refuse medical attention at the scene, but then wake up the next day with neck pain.

Pain is not the only whiplash symptom

Neck pain, stiffness, and other aches in surrounding areas are commonly associated with whiplash injury. However, the symptoms are not always straightforward and can include whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) that go beyond just pain.

Some examples of whiplash symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems
  • Emotional changes
  • Trouble with memory or concentration
  • Problems with getting enough sleep
  • Ringing in ears (tinnitus)
  • Difficulty with chewing, talking, and/or swallowing

Some whiplash-associated disorders may be related to a concussion that occurred during the collision, but the exact cause of these symptoms cannot always be accurately diagnosed.

Whiplash-associated disorders may go away quickly or last for months or longer. If left untreated, whiplash symptoms can increase fatigue, stress levels, and feelings of social isolation.

Seemingly minor collisions can cause whiplash

While there is a correlation between the collision’s force and severity of whiplash symptoms, sometimes the results can be surprising.

A couple examples include:

A lack of car damage can be misleading. In cases where a car looks OK after the collision, the forces that were not absorbed by the vehicle’s surface may instead go through the seat and worsen the whiplash. On the other hand, a car might have visible damage and/or look crunched-up, but the exterior absorbed more of the forces and possibly resulted in less whiplash.

Whiplash can occur at low speeds. Whiplash injuries have been reported in collisions of less than 10 miles per hour in the medical literature.1 Some people with weaker neck muscles or other conditions that make the cervical spine more susceptible to injury are likely factors.
See Diagnosing Whiplash

If you or a loved one suspect a whiplash injury has occurred, it’s important to consult with a doctor. Seeking treatment for whiplash sooner rather than later tends to result in better recovery outcomes.

As seen on Spine-Health.


IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANY WHIPLASH SYMPTOMS OR ANYTHING LISTED BELOW, WE WELCOME YOU TO CONTACT US AT 216-342-9199

 

Eastside Medical Group whiplash car accident treatment injury care best in Cleveland

Neck Pain    Back Pain    Headaches
Muscle Spasms    Dizziness   Body Aches  
Pinched Nerves    Leg Pain/Numbness
Arm Pain/Numbness    Pain Between the Shoulders

 


vehicle accident injuries

Common Vehicle Accident Injuries

What are the Most Common Vehicle Accident Injuries?

A look at soft tissue injuries and other common kinds of vehicle accident injuries suffered by drivers and passengers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than three million people are injured each year in vehicle accidents across the country. The different injuries resulting from a car accident can be as varied as the individual circumstances of each collision, but there are some types of injuries that are more common than others.

Some vehicle accident injuries may resolve within a matter of days without any medical treatment at all. More serious injuries might become permanent and result in some level of physical disability.

The type and severity of injuries suffered by drivers and passengers involved in a car accident depend on factors that include:

  • Was the person wearing a seat belt?
  • Did the person’s car get hit from the rear, side or front?
  • Was the occupant facing straight ahead in the seat? Or was the person’s head or body turned in a certain direction?
  • Was it a low-speed collision or a high-speed crash?
  • Did the car have airbags?

There are two broad categories of vehicle accident injuries: (1) impact injuries, and (2) penetrating injuries.

Impact injuries are typically caused when part of the person’s body hits some part of the interior of the car. Often this can be a knee hitting a dashboard or the head hitting the seat rest or the side window. Penetrating injuries are typically cuts and scrapes. Shattering glass or loose objects flying inside the car on impact often cause these types of injuries.

 

Soft Tissue Injuries and Car Accidents

A soft tissue injury is damage to the body’s connective tissue, which means muscles, ligaments and tendons. This is the most common type of injury resulting from a car accident. Soft tissue injuries can take many forms.

A “whiplash” type injury to the neck and upper back is a form of soft tissue injury. In that type of injury the muscles and ligaments are stretched due to sudden movements imposed on the head and neck in the collision. These same mechanisms and forces can cause soft tissue injuries in other areas of the body such as the back. Car accidents often cause mid-back and low-back muscle sprains, and sometimes cause more serious back injuries because of the impact force against the spine.

 

Scrapes and Cuts

In a car collision any loose objects inside the car immediately become projectiles thrown about the car’s interior. This includes cell phones, coffee mugs, eyeglasses, purses, books, dash-mounted GPS systems, etc. If any of these items hit your body, they can easily cut your skin or cause other injury.

Sometimes these scrapes and cuts are relatively minor and require no medical treatment. More serious injuries can result in loss of blood, and may require stitches.

Cuts or scrapes can also result if your airbag deploys in the collision.

 

Head Injuries and Car Accidents

Head injuries can take a number of forms, some relatively minor and others quite severe. A car’s unexpected stop or change in direction often causes the heads of the car occupants to experience sudden and unnatural movements. This can cause muscle strains in the neck and back (as discussed above). But the head itself can also be injured. Impact with a side window or steering wheel can cause scrapes and bruising to the head, or even deeper lacerations. More severe collision impacts can cause a closed head injury. In that situation, the fluid and tissue inside the skull are damaged because of the sudden movement or impact of the head. Less severe closed head injuries often result in concussions, while the most severe impacts can cause brain damage.

 

Chest Injuries

Chest injuries are also common vehicle accident injuries. These injuries typically take the form of contusions or bruises, but can be more severe, such as broken ribs or internal injuries. Drivers often experience chest injuries because of their position behind the steering wheel, which allows very little freedom of movement before the chest collides with the steering wheel. If a person’s body is thrown forward in a collision, even though it might not impact the steering wheel or dashboard, the chest area will still experience a high level of force against the shoulder harness or seat belt, which can cause severe bruising.

 

Arm and Leg Injuries

The same forces that unexpectedly throw a person’s head about in car collisions act similarly on arms and legs. If your car suffers a side impact, your arms and legs might be thrown hard against the door. While positioned as a passenger in a car, your legs typically have very little room for movement. Car accidents often cause an occupant’s knees to hit the dashboard or seats in front of them. Depending on the nature of the collision, injuries to your arms and legs might be mere bruises or scrapes, but sprains and even breaks can occur.

Keep in mind that some injuries are not readily apparent following a car accident. Depending on the nature of the injury, it may take days, weeks, or even months for symptoms to appear. So if you are in a car accident, it is best to seek medical treatment for even the slightest discomfort or early indication of injury.

 

Article originally from NOLO.com


 

If you or someone you know was injured in a recent car accident, we welcome you to contact us to see about your treatment options

216-342-9199

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accident injuries

Accident Injuries That Don’t Show Up Right Away

What If My Accident Injuries Don’t Show Up Right Away?

Vehicle accident injuries can be late-appearing. Here’s how to protect your health and your legal rights.

 

Almost any car accident is a traumatic event. From catastrophic collisions to fender-benders, there is a lot of force involved when a vehicle hits (or is hit by) something. Often, when people are in a car accident that seems minor, they do not notice any injury symptoms right away. This happens for a variety of reasons. In this article, we’ll help you understand the importance of monitoring your accident injuries – for your physical well-being and to protect your legal rights.

 

Car Accidents are Exciting

Not “exciting” in the fun sense, more from a physiological perspective.

Sometimes athletes get injured during a game, and they continue to play without noticing the injury until the game is over. That is because their bodies are generating adrenaline and endorphins. These two chemicals operate to super-charge our bodies and even block pain.

Most car accidents will create a similarly heightened level of excitement. Your body will generate adrenaline and endorphins, which means you feel increased energy and (possibly) a lack of pain. Just because you feel fine immediately following a car accident, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are fine. Once the release of those chemicals subsides, the pain from any car accident injuries could start to set in.

 

Soft Tissue Injuries After a Car Accident

A soft tissue injury refers to damage done to parts of the body other than bone. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are considered “soft tissue.”

Car accidents, even low-speed ones, generate a lot of force. Drivers and passengers often come to a sudden stop right along with the vehicle in a car accidents; or they may get thrown around the passenger area. This places a lot of stress on joints and other vulnerable areas of the body.

Perhaps the most common – if not the most recognized – type of soft-tissue injury is “whiplash.” This refers to an injury to the neck muscles when the head is suddenly, and forcefully, thrown forward and then back.

Soft tissue injuries typically result in pain, swelling, and reduced mobility, but these symptoms may not show up immediately. They can take days, even weeks, to manifest. In addition, soft tissue injuries are not visible on an X-ray. This makes them more challenging to diagnose and document. Getting proper medical treatment is the key first step, at or even before the first sign of pain or discomfort (more on this below).

 

Concussions After a Car Accident

Your brain is well-protected by your skull and the fluid inside of it. However, if you strike your head, or your body is violently jolted, your brain may strike the inside of your skull with great force. If this happens during the course of a car accident, you may sustain a concussion.

Concussions can be very serious, and the symptoms do not often show up immediately. Sometimes the symptoms are obvious (such as disorientation or even loss of consciousness), but they can also be more subtle.

Here is a list of concussion symptoms:

  • clouded thinking
  • inability to concentrate
  • difficulty remembering new information
  • headache
  • blurry vision
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • lack of energy, and
  • abnormal sleep patterns (sleeping more than usual or less than usual)

If you exhibit any of these signs following a car accident, you may have a concussion; and you should seek medical attention.

 

See a Doctor After a Car Accident

Following a car accident, you should see a doctor if you feel any level of pain and discomfort. It may even be a good idea to get checked out even if you feel fine. Your doctor will be in the best position to determine whether you sustained any serious injuries in the accident. Your doctor can also give you advice on monitoring symptoms of potential accident injuries, including the sorts of red flags to watch out for.

If you end up making any sort of injury claim after the accident, it’s crucial to be able to document the fact that you sought medical treatment within a reasonable amount of time. If you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurance adjuster is going to argue that you couldn’t have been all that injured.

 

Do Not Settle Right Away

Following a car accident, the other driver’s insurance company may contact you and try to get you to sign a release of any claims you might have. The insurance company may even offer you a sum of money to entice you to sign the release.

You should wait until you have been fully evaluated by a medical professional before signing anything the adjuster puts in front of you. You should also wait long enough to make sure all injuries from the car accident have fully manifested themselves. Your doctor can help you determine how long this needs to be. If you sign a release, and an injury shows up later, you cannot then go back to the insurance company and ask them to pay for your medical treatment. You waive your legal right to pursue that compensation when you sign the release.

If you’ve suffered significant injuries after a car accident, or you just want to make sure the claims process goes smoothly, you may want to talk with an experienced attorney. 

 

Original article: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-if-my-accident-injuries-dont-show-up-right-away.html

 


 

If you or someone you know was injured in a recent car accident, we welcome you to contact us to see about your treatment options

216-342-9199

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medical attention

Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident?

Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident Even if I Don’t Think I’m Hurt?

 

Without question, there are several weighty medical, financial, legal, and emotional considerations at stake that require adequate attention immediately following an automobile accident. If you overlook any of these considerations after an accident, the mistake could be costly to your overall recovery and well-being for years to come.

 

Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident?

 

It is prudent to be examined by a doctor or other qualified medical professional as soon as possible after you are involved in a car wreck. You should overcome the natural tendency to avoid going to a doctor or hospital and wanting to avoid the hassle and expense of seeking medical care. Don’t wait even a few days to evaluate how you feel after an auto accident before deciding to seek medical attention. The wait-and-see approach is not the best course of action.

 

Medical, legal, and Insurance Concerns Require Obtaining Prompt Medical Care

 

You may not experience pain for one or two days after the accident when back and neck pain is prone to appear and stiffness sets in. Also, a minor injury can worsen during the period following the crash if prompt medical attention is not sought.

Also, waiting too long to get a medical examination after an auto accident could severely harm your opportunity to acquire a fair amount of compensation. The validity of your legal claim may suffer from the delay in obtaining medical treatment. In addition, the other party can more easily argue there was an intervening cause for the pain or injury, or that the injury is fictitious because it was not bad enough to warrant medical attention for hours, days, or even longer. Most auto insurers will interpret a wait-and-see approach as an indication that the claimant has not truly been injured; insurers tend to assume that persons who are seriously hurt after a car accident will obtain the proper medical help immediately.

 

What Should a Person Involved in an Auto Accident Do for Medical Help?

 

If you believe there is any possibility you’ve been hurt as a result of a crash, get prompt medical attention. Accept medical treatment at the scene of the accident when it is offered. Ask to be transported to the emergency room, and accept whatever treatment is offered at the scene. It is best to let the emergency room professionals ascertain the severity of injuries and the proper course of treatment. Beyond that, keep follow-up appointments with doctors, including specialists, if required.

 

As seen on attorneys.com

 


 

If you or someone you know was injured in a recent car accident, we welcome you to contact us to see about your treatment options

216-342-9199


whiplash pain

What is Whiplash?

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash occurs when the neck and head are suddenly forced backward and then forward, putting the cervical spine through lightning-quick motions and extreme stresses.

Most cases of whiplash are caused by car accidents where the person has been rear-ended. Other potential whiplash causes, while comparatively rare, can include assault, bungee jumping, rollercoaster, football, falls while skiing or during equestrian events, and other high-impact activities where extreme acceleration-deceleration forces might be applied to the cervical spine.

Whiplash is medically known as cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD) syndrome.

 

Whiplash Symptoms Can Be Extensive

The most common symptom of whiplash is neck pain, which can range anywhere from mild to pins-and-needles tingling to excruciating. Other symptoms can include neck stiffness or reduced range of motion, neck instability, shoulder and/or upper back pain, or headache. There could also be tingling, weakness, or numbness that radiates into the shoulder and/or down the arm.

Whiplash symptoms can be numerous, complicated, long-lasting, and hard to diagnose, which is why they are commonly known as whiplash-associated disorders. Concurrent injuries may also be symptomatic, such as a stinger, concussion, radiculopathy (pinched nerve with radiating pain into the arm), or shoulder injury.

If a whiplash injury causes a person to have reduced physical or mental abilities—even if they are just temporary—it can result in increased social isolation.

 

The Biomechanics of Whiplash

The process of a whiplash injury sustained in a car accident can vary depending on many factors, including the angle of the collision.

Usually, the collision happens from behind, resulting in a whiplash injury that can be considered to occur in five general phases:

  • Car gets hit from behind, which causes the seat to push against the back. The spine then gets loaded with forces that compress the cervical spine upward against the head.
  • The torso (in contact with the seat) continues to accelerate forward but the head (not in contact with the seat yet) does not. As a result, the cervical spine’s natural C-shape (lordosis curve) temporarily becomes an unnatural S-shape. The abnormal compression and shearing forces can potentially damage intervertebral discs, facet joints, and other neck structures.
  • Person’s head slams backward into the accelerating seat. Soft tissues at the front of the neck are likely to be injured here as the neck rapidly extends backward.
  • The head bounces off the seat and now accelerates forward.
  • The seatbelt restrains the body (likely preventing a much worse injury) and the neck rapidly flexes as the head whips forward. Soft tissues at the back of the neck are likely to be injured here.

While the severity of the car crash usually correlates to the severity of the whiplash injury, there are exceptions.

Sometimes a sturdy car does not crunch up and thus shows no significant outside damage, but the forces that were not absorbed by the car exterior were instead transferred through the seat and thus caused worse whiplash. Also, whiplash injuries have been recorded in incidents where the speed at impact was less than 10 miles per hour.

 

The Course of Whiplash Pain

Most people who sustain a whiplash injury will completely recover within 3 months, but some studies show a significant number will have chronic pain or other symptoms that linger longer – sometimes for years.

Factors that increase risk for a longer whiplash recovery include:

  • Severe pain at time of injury
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Older age
  • Female gender

Whiplash symptoms may present at the time of the whiplash injury, or there could be a delay of up to 24 hours before they appear.

 

When Whiplash Is Serious

Anyone who experiences physical symptoms after a motor vehicle accident is advised to see a doctor for a checkup. However, any of the following signs require immediate medical attention:

  • Severe pain
  • Neck instability
  • Pain, tingling, numbness, and/or weakness that radiates into the shoulder, arm, and/or hand
  • Problems with balance or coordination
  • Mental health issues, such as increased irritability, depression, trouble sleeping, reduced concentration, or other drastic changes in behavior

Seeking treatment early for whiplash is recommended. Delaying treatment can reduce its effectiveness in some cases.

As seen on Spine-Health: http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/what-whiplash

 


 

If you or someone you know was injured in a recent car accident, we welcome you to contact us to see about your treatment options

440-342-9199