The hours, days and weeks after a Missouri motor vehicle accident may be critical to an injured victim’s recovery. One of the most common types of injury in a collision is whiplash. This term actually refers to a number of adverse symptoms that may occur due to sudden jarring of the upper body in a crash.
What exactly causes whiplash?
In a collision, a victim’s neck might suddenly flex and then extend in a jarring motion. While a car accident is one of the most common types of incidents that can result in whiplash, it could also happen in a person-to-person collision, such as during a football game or on a basketball court. Whiplash may also be the result of an assault, such as if a person is violently grabbed and shaken by another.
In addition to sudden, intense flexion and extension, vessels might tear, causing inflammation and swelling. It can include damage to a spinal disc, as well as ligaments, tendons or muscles in the back or upper body. Whiplash can present multiple symptoms that are either immediate or delayed and can take weeks, even months to heal.
How to recognize symptoms of whiplash
In the aftermath of a motor vehicle collision, it’s not uncommon to feel tense or sore. However, these issues are also symptoms of whiplash, which is why it’s always best to visit a primary care physician or emergency room if they develop after a car accident. These symptoms suggest that a whiplash injury occurred:
- Pain or numbness
- Lack of mobility
- Spasms in muscles
- Trouble remembering things
Doctors typically diagnose whiplash symptomatically, which is why it is important for a patient to describe the symptoms in detail. Physical therapy is often needed to help a whiplash patient fully recover.
Up to 50% of recovering patients continue to experience symptoms one year or more after their initial injuries. If another person’s negligence caused a whiplash injury to occur, a recovering victim may seek restitution for documented monetary damages.