Car Wrecks and Whiplash

What causes chronic neck pain?
According to the North American Spine Society, while it’s not usually possible to know the exact cause of neck pain in the days or weeks following a car wreck, what doctors do know is that the muscles and ligaments get strained and are probably inflamed, but they usually heal within six to ten weeks. Pain lasting longer than that is usually a result of deeper problems such as injury to the disc or facet joint, or both.

How is whiplash diagnosed?
Your health care professional will ask you about your symptoms and how the injury occurred, and then they perform a physical examination. The exam helps the health care professional to determine if tests are needed immediately or if they can wait and how to best treat your symptoms. If a patient doesn’t get better after about 12 weeks a more detailed evaluation might be needed.

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

Headaches, arm pain and arm heaviness may be caused by nerve compression; also called referred pain.  Low back pain is common after whiplash and may be caused by injury to the discs.  Difficulties with concentration or memory can be attributed to the pain itself, medications you are taking for the pain, or mild brain injury. You might also experience irritability and depression.  Sleep disruption can be a result of pain or depression. Other symptoms might include blurry vision, ringing in the ears, tingling in the face and fatigue.

Treatment of whiplash
Treatment in the first few weeks and months usually involves strength training and body mechanics instruction. Patients that don’t get better after about 12 weeks may require specialized treatment from a spine specialist depending on the cause of the pain.  A spine care specialist can help relieve the pain of whiplash and regain range of motion. Follow your health care professional’s instructions carefully; remain active and do the exercises that you are taught to improve your posture and reduce the strain on your neck.  With proper care and patience, you are likely to recover from whiplash.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car wreck and have been injured, call N. Craig Richardson a Lake Charles personal injury lawyer for a free evaluation of your case.  Whiplash and spinal injury are serious conditions that can have long lasting repercussion.  Craig and his Lake Charles legal team understand just how devastating car wreck can be for victims and their families. Because of this, we work tirelessly on behalf of our clients for the funds they need to fully recover.