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Get The Facts About Whiplash


In our culture, whiplash is not thought of as a serious injury. Television shows and movies often portray people committing insurance fraud or illegitimate lawsuits as falsely claiming to have whiplash. Other times they show ambulance chasing lawyers encouraging their client to wear a neckbrace to court. However, this stereotype is very misleading. Whiplash is a very painful and serious injury that can have some really bad side effects.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a type of neck strain caused by a serious, unexpected rear impact that roughly jerks the neck back and forth. Whiplash is most often associated with car accidents, but also can be caused by sports or traumatic injuries. Unlike typical neck strains which are just pulled or strained muscles, whiplash is when the ligaments, tendons, and muscles are torn in the neck. Whiplash can also damage the joints and spine. This creates an incredibly painful injury that restricts a person’s natural movement and can have longlasting effects.

Symptoms Of Whiplash

Whiplash is often misdiagnosed so it is important to understand the range of symptoms associated with a whiplash injury. Symptoms tend to occur within 24 hours of the accident and include:

  • Mild to severe neck pain
  • Stiffness and restricted movement in the neck
  • Increased pain with movement of the neck
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the shoulder, back, or arms
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Ringing in the ears or tinnitus
  • Difficulty sleeping and insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty concentrating and forgetfulness

Side Effects of Whiplash

The primary symptoms of whiplash are not the only concern. There are many dangerous side effects caused by a whiplash injury. So it is really important to get treatment for this injury right away. Some of the more common side effects include:

  • Herniated Discs In The Spine: Whiplash injuries can cause strain on the spine, creating small tears along the discs between the vertebrae. These tears can lead the disc to become herniated, where the inner core of the disc sticks out. When a herniated disc touches a nerve along the spine it is incredibly painful. Herniated discs cause pain to shoot down the spine and even lead to numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness throughout the whole body.
  • Cognitive Dysfunction: Since whiplash is an injury that occurs close to the head, it can also cause brain dysfunctions. These can include headaches, forgetfulness, poor concentration, fatigue, and slower brain processes.
  • Chronic Pain: 10% of patients who experience whiplash have chronic pain. Whiplash generally heals fairly quickly, however in some patients the damage can last a lifetime. In cases of chronic whiplash pain, patients may have to have surgery to deaden the nerves in the neck so they can live a normal, pain-free life.
  • Faulty Movement Patterns: The inability to move the neck is a normal symptom of whiplash, however the damage from whiplash can also interfere with the normal operations of the body. This is especially true when whiplash has damaged the spine or nerves. Faulty movement patterns can lead to severe pain in the joints and the muscles.

Treatment For Whiplash

Depending on the severity, there are a number of treatments for whiplash. Before starting any treatment routine, you should consult a doctor first. They will help guide you through an effective treatment plan.

  • Painkillers: More of the time over the counter, anti-inflammatory painkillers can help ease the pain of whiplash. However, if the pain is severe your Doctor may recommend a prescription painkiller or muscle relaxer.
  • Neck Brace: Since a lot of the pain of whiplash comes from moving your neck, you doctor may recommend a neck brace to help support the muscles and reduce your movements. However, neck braces are not a long terms solution as reliance on them can weaken your neck muscles.
  • Hot And Cold Therapy: Hot and cold therapy is a method of applying ice and heat to an injury at scheduled intervals. The ice reduces the swelling and lessens the pain, while the heat promotes blood flow which promotes healing. If recommended, your doctor will instruct you how to apply this therapy.
  • Massage: Massage may be helpful in reducing the pain of whiplash and supporting muscle healing. It is not recommended you get a massage for the injury until 72 hours after the accident.
  • Chiropractic: Your doctor may also recommend you see a chiropractor for your whiplash. Chiropractic treatments will target the joints and spine to reduce pain, encourage healing, and improve mobility.

Regardless of Hollywood portrayals, whiplash is a serious injury that has many painful symptoms and side effects. If you have gotten whiplash it is important to see your doctor so they can recommend treatments. Luckily there are a range of treatments that will get you fix the pain and get back to your normal life.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Get The Facts About Whiplash

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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