Long-Term Effects of Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash is a common car accident injury. Most car-accident-related whiplash injuries happen when a vehicle runs into the back of another one. Even if you are stationary at the time, it is still possible for your head to be snapped backwards and forwards fast enough to severely damage your neck.
It is one of those injuries that a lot of people underestimate. They do not always realize just how serious it can be. There is also a tendency for people to play down the severity of a whiplash injury because they are frightened that others will think they are exaggerating or are just pretending that they were hurt.
But you really cannot afford to ignore a whiplash injury. If it is not treated correctly there is a good chance that you will end up with long-term issues. Physical limitations and pain that could make it hard for you to live your life and earn a good living.
Here we tell you what you need to know about whiplash. How to recognize the symptoms, what to do about them and how to seek proper compensation.
Basics of Whiplash Injuries
When your head is suddenly snapped forward and/or backwards the soft tissues and muscles in the neck and shoulder areas are abnormally stretched. Extreme cases of whiplash injuries can cause tearing and bleeding of the tissue and muscles.
These are the most common types of accidents that cause whiplash injuries:
- Car accidents – especially rear-end accidents
- Contact sports
- Slips and falls
- Falling from height
Even when seatbelts and headrests are used whiplash injuries can still occur. The head can still snap forward sharply, and travel back fast until it contacts the headrest.
Common Whiplash Injury Symptoms
The symptoms of whiplash can manifest themselves within hours of your being involved in an accident. But it is also possible for it to take several days for that to happen. The main symptoms to look out for are:
- Pain or stiffness in the neck when sitting, standing or moving
- A loss of flexibility of the neck
- Pain or tenderness at the base of the skull
- Pain or tenderness in the shoulder area
- Numbness or tingling sensations in the arms
- Extreme tiredness
Long-Term Effects of Whiplash Injuries
- Stiffness in the neck and shoulder are
- Chronic pain that can last for years
- A lack of neck and shoulder mobility and flexibility
- Severe upper back pain
- Lower back pain that eventually becomes chronic
- A dull ache at the base of the skull that persists for months
- Headaches that are intense and chronic
- Jaw pain
- A loss of strength in the arms
- Weakness in the hands and occasionally even the legs
- Tingling and numbness that persists
- Recurring dizziness
- Blurred vision
- Tinnitus – ringing or buzzing in one or both ears
- Sleep disruption
- Difficulty in remembering things
- The loss of the ability to focus
- Personality changes
Some of these issues develop gradually. For example, if after a few months a person does not feel better they can easily become depressed. If the pain is chronic and they cannot sleep well anymore their ability to focus becomes impaired.
Whiplash injuries are not to be taken lightly because they might lead to long-term effects. Consult with a Diamond & Diamond personal injury lawyer now about compensation for whiplash injuries.
How Whiplash’s Long-Terms Effects Could Impact Your Life
If your whiplash injury does not heal completely, it is easy for your health and your quality of life to spiral downwards. Chronic pain, stiffness and restricted movement can significantly affect your ability to carry out even simple day to day tasks like washing up, driving, or shopping.
Even if you can do things, you could find that everything takes you far longer than it used to. Naturally, not being able to get as much done negatively impacts your ability to look after your family. Not being able to play with your kids or being snappy with them because you are in pain and not sleeping well will have a negative impact on your relationship with them.
The same is true for you and your partner. They are also highly likely to be left having to take on a far bigger portion of the parenting tasks. You may also no longer want to socialize much because you are in pain, fatigued or depressed. This also has a negative impact on family life.
If you are a student, studying while in pain is not easy. Typically, you will be spending a lot of time looking at screens, typing or reading. All activities that tend to aggravate neck injuries. So, whiplash can be particularly debilitating for students.
It is not easy to work when suffering from whiplash symptoms. This is the case whether you are self-employed or work for someone else. Most employers soon tire of the fact that you have to attend regular medical and physiotherapy sessions. You may even find that you cannot do the job you were doing before you were injured.
Whiplash can also limit which sports or hobbies you can enjoy. Some people also find that it negatively affects their sex life.
It is important that you don´t underestimate the negative impact whiplash can have on your life in both the short and long-term. You need to bear this in mind when deciding whether to seek compensation for what, at first, can appear to be a minor injury.
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FAQs on Long-Term Effects of Whiplash Injuries
Can riding a rollercoaster, or other amusement park ride cause a whiplash injury?
It is possible to sustain a whiplash injury on a rollercoaster or other type of amusement park ride. Although modern safety standards and measures mean that this is now a relatively rare occurrence.
Is a whiplash injury easy to prove? What are the challenges of proving a whiplash injury?
It is not always easy to prove a whiplash injury. You will need to be assessed and diagnosed by a doctor. As well as demonstrate that you have followed a proper treatment plan. The other party may argue that your inability to do certain things or your persistent symptoms are a result of a pre-existing condition or injury. It is hard to prove that this is not the case without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer to interpret the evidence, including your medical records.
How is a whiplash injury diagnosed?
Whiplash is diagnosed by first assessing your range of motion. Medical scans are then performed. If these do not uncover another underlying reason for your movement and pain issues, it is possible to make a whiplash diagnosis. The doctor will also assess the circumstances of your accident to determine whether the forces involved were sufficient to cause your injury.