Traffic collisions and whiplash

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Whiplash is a common injury that occurs in car accidents, particularly in rear-end collisions. It happens when the head and neck are suddenly jerked forward and then backward, causing strain on the soft tissues of the neck.

Drivers and passengers should look into the causes, symptoms and treatment of whiplash injuries.

Recognizing whiplash

Whiplash injuries most commonly occur in car accidents when the vehicle becomes struck from behind, causing the neck to rapidly move in a whip-like motion. The sudden force can stretch and damage the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the neck, leading to whiplash. It is important to note that whiplash can occur even in low-speed collisions.

The symptoms of whiplash may not always be immediately apparent and can vary in severity. Common symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, shoulder and upper back pain and dizziness or fatigue. Unfortunately, many people continue to suffer from whiplash and other injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that more than 2.1 million people received treatment in emergency departments for traffic accident injuries during 2020.

Dealing with whiplash

Proper treatment of whiplash is vital for recovery and to prevent long-term complications. Allow the neck to rest and avoid activities that may aggravate the injury. Apply ice packs to reduce swelling and pain in the first few days after the injury. Afterward, heat therapy can help relax the muscles. Over-the-counter pain medications can help alleviate discomfort and reduce inflammation.

Remember to seek medical attention if you experience persistent or worsening symptoms. Drive safely and always wear a seatbelt to reduce the risk of car accident injuries like whiplash.