Caring Service, Strong Results. TM

Whiplash Injuries: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

What is a Whiplash Injury?

West Virginia car accident lawyer posts about whiplash injury

Whiplash is a nonmedical term often used to describe an injury to the soft tissues of the neck. However, doctors still sometimes use this term or they may use more specific terms such as cervical strain, cervical strain, or hyperextension injury.  In whiplash injuries, some or all of the soft tissues of the neck are injured including the discs, tendons, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots.

What Causes Whiplash?

Whiplash is caused by an abrupt jerking motion of the head often when the victim is not suspecting it.  Car accidents are the most frequent cause of whiplash injuries.  However, slip and falls, work related accidents, contact sport injuries, being assualted and most other types of accidents can cause whiplash.  Car accidents that involve speeds as low as 15 miles per hour can cause whiplash injuries, and lower speed impacts do not necessarily mean less severe injury to the neck.

What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

Whiplash symptoms may be delayed for 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. However, the sooner you develop symptoms, the greater chance of serious and sometimes permanent damage.  People who have suffered a whiplash injury will develop one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Difficulty moving the neck causing limited range of motion
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the shoulders or between the shoulder blades
  • Back pain
  • Muscle spasms in the back
  • Pain or numbness shooting from your neck into either shoulder or arm
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears or blurred vision
  • Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue

How Is Whiplash Diagnosed?

In most cases, whiplash injuries involve soft tissues such as the discs, muscles and ligaments of the neck, and cannot be seen on X-rays. Specialized imaging tests, such as CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be required to diagnose whiplash.

When to Seek Medical Treatment

The best time to seek medical treatment is immediately after a neck injury.  The risks associated with a possible neck injury are great, so it’s best not to attempt to diagnose and self-treat.  Also, if the injury was caused by a car accident, any delay in treatment will likely be used by the insurance adjuster to minimize any property bodily injury claim you may have.  The insurance adjuster will likely argue that if you were really injured, then you would have sought immediate medical attention.

Many doctors advise that you should call 911 emergency medical services if you develop any of the following symptoms shortly after injury:

  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Headache and/or dizziness
  • Pain in either or both arms, especially if radiating from the neck
  • Weakness or tingling in the arms or legs

How Is Whiplash Treated?

No single treatment has been scientifically proven to be effective for every whiplash injury.  In my experience as a personal injury lawyer working with many clients who have suffered a whiplash injury, each person responds differently to the different available treatments.  For example, chiropractic care works for some patients, whereas physical therapy works much better for others.  I have seen many personal injury clients improve only a little after seeing a chiropractor only to get completely better after they received physical therapy.

The standard treatment options include pain relieving medications such as ibuprofen, Motrin or Aleve sometimes accompanied by prescription muscle relaxers.  However, medicine will not cure a whiplash, so one or more of the following will likely be necessary to help heal the damage caused by the whiplash: gentle exercises, physical therapy , massage, heat, ice, injections and ultrasound.

Contact a West Virginia Whiplash Injury Attorney

The above is not intended to be medical advice as I am a personal injury lawyer not a doctor. So if you have suffered a neck injury, please consult your doctor or 911.  If you have been injured in a car accident or by negligence, please feel free to contact a West Virginia personal injury lawyer at West Law Offices for a free consultation .  Call us today toll free at 1-877-943-9378.

Request a free consultation

Fill out the form below to receive
a free initial consultation.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Testimonials

West Law Firm has great lawyers. They helped me in my case and every time I needed to call or talk to someone they were willing to talk and help me in anyway. David is the absolute best. His communication was unbelievable throughout the entire process as well as his worth ethic. He took great care of me I would highly recommend him for any auto related injury. He continually fought for me and got me the settlement I deserved!
Lance Bork
I've worked with other attorneys in the past, but West Law Firm has gone over and above my expectations! I was expecting the same old runaround about when somebody could get to my case. They kept me up-to-date about everything. They really worked for me and I would highly recommend them.
Donna Wright
I have nothing but praises for West Law firm. They took my case and worked very hard for me. They went out of there way to help me. If I had a question they were quick to respond. I truly felt that they were working for me. I wasn’t just another payday for them. David and Paula were absolutely the best.
Leslie Snoots
Read more reviews
Contact
Us Today

Call Us

phone 1-877-943-9378
local 1-304-343-9378

visit us

1514 Kanawha Blvd E, Suite 2
Charleston, WV 25311

get directions
Get Your Free Case Evaluation
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.