What is a Whiplash Injury?
While most commonly associated with vehicular accidents, a whiplash is basically any blow or impact that results in an individual’s head jerking forward or backward with enough force to stretch or tear the muscles and tendon in the neck. Many people confuse whiplash injuries with neck strain even though a whiplash is more serious, mainly because they have similar causes, symptoms, and strains.
In order to properly assess whether you might be suffering from a soft tissue injury and in need of medical attention, the following symptoms are described as usually felt by people who have experienced a whiplash injury:
- Intermittent head aches, problems with blurry vision, loss of balance or orientation
- Physical fatigue
- Stiffness and lingering pain in the neck
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Lack of sleep or difficulties maintaining comfort during sleep
- Problems concentrating or remembering things
If any or all of the listed above is felt by an individual who’s just been in a vehicle accident – whether as a passenger, driver, or bystander – it is strongly advisable to seek medical help immediately, as the possibility of a whiplash injury is very high.
What Makes Whiplash Injuries Dangerous?
There’s more than one reason why a whiplash injury is not to be taken lightly. First is that the injury isn’t always apparent. Sometimes the pain is felt almost immediately after the accident, but there are times where it takes several hours or days before a person feels the underlying pain.
Additionally, there are whiplash injuries that are only diagnosed as “soft tissue” injuries, which are equally as painful but cannot be detected by an X-ray because the damage is on the muscles of the neck instead of the spine. Another thing about whiplash injuries is that they could also cause a concussion, which is potentially lethal and requires immediate medical attention.
Finally, a whiplash is a debilitating injury which can prevent people from working and functioning normally for a certain period of time, which means loss of income and added medical expenses.