It has been estimated that two in three people who are involved in road traffic collisions will end up suffering the effects of whiplash through experiencing problems in their neck and surrounding area. These symptoms usually develop within a few hours but the nature of the symptoms that they suffer can often vary.
The most common symptoms that are associated with whiplash include the following:
Pain and stiffness of the neck, which can often extend up to the head and down to the shoulders Headache Numbness or tingling in the arms, which extends down into the hands Low back pain Dizziness Problems such as poor concentration, memory or mental performance Tiredness Ringing in the ears or tinnitus Blurred vision
These symptoms usually develop a few hours after the road traffic accident and most people usually recover from the symptoms of whiplash within a few weeks but in extreme cases the symptoms can often worsen and go on to cause further problems that will affect people for years to come.
When it comes to whiplash many people don’t realise the fact that a car only has to be driving at a low speed of even 10mph to cause the on set of whiplash. Even the slightest, smallest bump to a car can cause whiplash. This is surprising to many people as they only think whiplash happens when a car is travelling at high speed.
Whiplash most commonly occurs after a road traffic accident where a car collides with another car or a structure. So what exactly does whiplash do? It stretches and tears the soft tissues of the neck, affecting the tendons, ligaments and muscles. It also may damage the nerves and other structures in the area. This soft tissue damage is known as a whiplash injury, or cervical sprain as well as hyperextension injury.
The way in which whiplash is diagnosed is by looking at a patients history as well as a head and neck examination. Also x-rays are also used purely to rule out any potential fractures. It is important that you seek medical help after a road traffic accident as you may feel fine but aspects such as whiplash take a few hours to diagnose. By gaining medical help after a road traffic accident you will have the peace of mind that your injuries are being treated in the right way and you will also have a record of your injuries in case they are needed for future use.
The standard treatment that is usually given to a patient who is suffering the effects of whiplash includes encasing the neck in a soft collar to prevent movement that could worsen the symptoms. As well as this you will often be advised to apply an ice pack to the affected area and to take regular pain relief.
Sadly there aren’t many things that people can do to prevent the onset of whiplash, however certain head restraints may prevent some whiplash injuries such as they may stop the head jolting backwards.
If you are suffering from the affects of whiplash then you could be entitled to put in a claim for compensation. If you do want to put in a claim for compensation then it is important that you speak to a professional solicitor who will be able advise you on what to do next.