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

 


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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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


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