Have you been in a car accident lately? Are you suffering from neck and upper back pain? You might be experiencing a painful condition known as whiplash.
Whiplash is an unfortunately common problem in the United States. Over 3 million Americans are diagnosed with it every year. The worst part is that over half of people suffering from whiplash have long-term complications.
You need to understand the problems associated with this disorder. If you think that you might have whiplash, then it is important to get prompt medical attention. You can minimize the long-term effects with a prompt diagnosis and treatment.
What are the biggest warning signs of whiplash?
You have a much better chance of treating whiplash if you recognize the warning signs. The most common symptoms are listed below. James McKiernan Lawyers, a team of San Luis Obispo Accident Lawyers has talked about the importance of finding out if you have whiplash, so you can get adequate compensation if someone else is at fault.
“It is absolutely imperative that you find out if you are suffering from whiplash after an accident. Whiplash can be difficult to identify without proper medical screenings, which can leave you on the hook for medical bills down the road. A proper diagnosis is the first step towards treatment.”
Pain and stiffness in your neck
The biggest sign of whiplash is neck pain and stiffness. This is present in almost every case of the disorder. Whiplash victims tend to find that the pain gets worse as they move their neck, although this is not always the case.
Pain and soreness in the upper back and shoulders
You may also find that there is pain in your upper back and shoulders. This is not as common as neck pain, but it can still happen if the muscles around your spinal column have been inflamed.
Impaired range of motion with your neck
The average person can turn their neck between 40 and 80°. If you can’t rotate your neck as much, then you might be dealing with a whiplash injury.
Headaches originating near your forehead
Headaches are also common symptoms of whiplash. Theoretically, someone with whiplash can have headaches with any point of origin. However, it is most common to have a headache that originates from the front of the skull near the forehead. It will seem to take place near the cerebellum or frontal lobe, even if those parts of the brain have not been injured.
Pain that arises after tilting your head along a single axis
You might find that neck pain and headaches are not persistent. However, you may find that you start to experience pain if you tilt your head forward and backward or from one side to the other.
People that have been diagnosed with whiplash often complain that they feel disoriented or dizzy. This sensation may or may not be persistent.
It is also very common to feel tired after suffering from whiplash. Fatigue affects people to varying degrees and may worsen with other symptoms.
Whiplash survivors may also have vision problems after the accident. Their vision may start to get blurry, as if they had cataracts.
Mental health problems
Whiplash has a significant number of physical symptoms. However, there are also some potential cognitive and mental health problems that can be difficult to connect with the disorder.
Depression is a common symptom of people suffering from whiplash. Obviously, it makes sense that people with whiplash would suffer from some level of depression, since they are discouraged that they can’t engage in certain activities and might be worried about their long-term health. However, these logical explanations do not fully explain depression among whiplash survivors. Brain inflammation and impaired circulation are also reasons that people get depressed after a whiplash injury.
Depression is not the only mental health problem that affects people with whiplash, although it is one of the most common. Whiplash patients also are prone to feelings of irritability, impaired memory and concentration problems.
Get proper treatment for whiplash injuries
Whiplash is a common problem that affects several million people every year. It is important to understand the severity and get an accurate diagnosis.
You should speak with your healthcare provider immediately after an accident. You want to find out if you incurred it whiplash injury during your accident. You will also want to consider speaking with an attorney, so that you can get adequate compensation. This might be necessary to cover any of your medical bills.