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Whiplash: symptoms to look out for

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2022 | Car Accidents

Whiplash, which is also referred to as a strain or sprain of the neck, can be a serious injury. “Whiplash” is a blanket term that is used to describe several symptoms that can take place when the neck is damaged or injured. If you’re a Tennessee resident and need to know more about whiplash as it pertains to car accidents, here is some important information to keep in mind.

Causes of whiplash

When the head or neck is abruptly moved forward or jerked violently, which is common in car accidents, this can cause whiplash.

There are several symptoms of whiplash, and sometimes, the symptoms won’t show up for up to 24 hours. Within a few days of the accident, victims can experience symptoms such as headaches, shoulder pain, neck stiffness and pain, dizziness, lower back pain or pain in the hands or arms. Some individuals may also experience numbness in the arms or hands.

It is also common to experience irritation, insomnia and fatigue. While some may think that they are feeling this way because of the car accident, these symptoms can be an indication of whiplash as well.

Diagnosing whiplash

Most of the time, the whiplash injuries caused by car accidents affect the soft tissues such as the ligaments, discs and muscles. This means that doctors are usually not able to detect these injuries during an X-ray. An MRI or CT scan is often necessary to diagnose soft tissue damage that could contribute to whiplash symptoms.

Treating whiplash

There is no specific treatment that is best for all cases of whiplash. However, doctors may prescribe pain medication such as naproxen or ibuprofen to relieve the discomfort associated with whiplash. Gentle exercise, physical therapy, heat or ice therapy, massage and injections are also helpful ways to get rid of the pain and improve mobility after whiplash.

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