There might not be a more misunderstood injury after a car accident than whiplash.
This should be a cause for concern because whiplash is one of the most common injuries after a car accident. These misunderstandings often lead to injuries getting neglected and worsening.
When it comes to personal injury claims, some people think a whiplash injury is nothing more than a money grab (especially insurance companies).
Other people view it as a legitimate injury, but they don't think it's anything to worry about and that it will go away on its own.
In reality, whiplash is a genuine medical condition with varying degrees of severity.
Most whiplash cases will resolve within weeks or months, but it's not uncommon for there to be long-term effects.
It's imperative to see professional care immediately after an accident, even if you don't have immediate symptoms.
Sometimes it can take hours, days, or even weeks for whiplash symptoms to present themselves, and untreated whiplash can have serious, long-term effects on your health.
That's why you should see a chiropractor as soon as possible after your accident.
But, can a whiplash injury go away and come back?
We'll take a look at that question in the article below.
Table of Contents
- What Is Whiplash?
- Symptoms of Whiplash
- How Whiplash Is Diagnosed
- Can A Whiplash Injury Return?
- Contact Florida Spine and Injury
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury to the neck after a forceful, rapid back-and-forth motion of your neck, very similar to the cracking of a whip, hence the name whiplash.
Whiplash commonly occurs in car accidents, especially in rear-end collisions.
Whiplash can also be caused by:
- contact sports
- physical abuse
- slips and falls
- amusement park rides
- horseback riding accidents
- cycling accidents
- blows to the head
Whiplash can be caused by any sudden motion that causes your neck to whip forward and backward.
The most important thing to know after a whiplash injury is that it can affect your soft tissues, muscles and ligaments, tendons, nerves in your neck, and even your spine.
Most people will recover from whiplash within a few weeks if they follow a specialized plan laid out by their chiropractor.
Some people, though, will have long-lasting effects of whiplash, especially if they don't receive treatment or if they wait too long to start treatments.
Symptoms of Whiplash
When whiplash occurs, adrenaline and shock from your accident can mask the pain of your injury.
That's why it's common for whiplash symptoms to take a while to show up, but they should not be ignored when they do show up.
Musculoskeletal injuries like whiplash can take weeks to show symptoms, but that doesn't make the injury any less severe.
The main symptom of whiplash is neck pain or upper back pain, but symptoms will vary from patient to patient.
Some people will only experience mild symptoms, while others may experience things like
- Spasms or tightness in the upper back or neck
- Pain and stiffness when you move your neck
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty swallowing and chewing
- Burning or tingling sensations
- Limited range of motion
- Shoulder pain
- Neck pain
Severe whiplash can damage your inter vertebral joints, as well as your discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and the nerves of the upper back and neck.
With time and proper treatment, most people can make a complete recovery.
How Whiplash is Diagnosed
After your accident, you should be examined by a health professional like a chiropractor as soon as possible.
Your chiropractor will perform a physical exam and go over your medical history to diagnose your whiplash injury.
They may also order imaging tests like x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to aid their diagnosis.
Can A Whiplash Injury Return?
Whiplash injuries don't necessarily "return."
It's more like your whiplash just never goes away, instead of coming back.
If whiplash is left untreated, it can have serious, long-term effects.
Like we mentioned before, most cases of whiplash resolve within a few weeks or months if victims receive prompt medical care.
But, the pain and restrictions that stem from a whiplash injury can last for years or the rest of your life if they aren't treated.
This can make it seem like your whiplash injury comes back every once in a while.
Torn or overextended muscles and tendons in your neck will limit your range of motion and place stress on your neck, head, shoulders, and spine.
The long-term effects of whiplash include:
- Chronic Headaches
- Vertebrae Misalignment
- Degenerative Disc disease
- Chronic Neck Pain and Soreness
- Stiffness and Long-term Mobility Issues
These symptoms can turn into full-blown health conditions with flare-ups that can make it seem like your injury has gone away and then come back again.
Each case of whiplash is different and will require specialized care.
If you think you might be suffering from whiplash, you should seek professional care so you don't put your future health and well-being at risk.
Contact Florida Spine and Injury
Although whiplash might not "come back," if it is left untreated, it may never go away.
That's why if you were involved in an accident that caused you to suffer a whiplash injury, it is crucial for your overall well-being and a potential accident claim to be seen by an experienced chiropractor.
Chiropractors are specially trained to diagnose and treat soft tissue injuries like whiplash before symptoms can worsen and lead to chronic issues.
Florida Spine and Injury has a team of highly trained accident doctors who are committed to helping each of their patients return to their normal health and lifestyle after a whiplash injury.
When you visit Florida Spine and Injury, you will be given an in-depth examination by one of our chiropractic doctors.
Once they can make a diagnosis, you will be provided with an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific recovery needs.
Chiropractors also believe in helping patients without the need for addictive pain medications and invasive surgery.
They also understand each patient is unique, and therefore each treatment plan is personalized to fit their specific needs.
If you were involved in an accident that caused you to suffer from whiplash, do not hesitate to contact our experienced Whiplash Injury Chiropractors.
Click the button below to schedule your free consultation today.