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How to Effectively Deal with Whiplash After an Accident

If you’ve recently been in a car or truck accident – or any accident that causes an impact or blow that forces your head to jerk forward or backward – it’s likely that you might be dealing with whiplash.


Whiplash, also called neck strain, occurs when a sudden force stretches and tears the muscles and tendons in your neck. Whiplash is often confused with neck sprains, which according to WebMD, are caused by tearing of the ligaments, the tissues that connect the bones to each other. In contrast, neck strains (whiplash) are caused by damage to the muscle or the tendons.


According to WebMD, the causes, symptoms, and treatment of both neck sprains and neck strains are usually the same.


Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash often makes itself apparent through pain that is hard to ignore. Keep in mind that sometimes, the pain of whiplash is immediate. In other cases, it can take several hours or days before your neck begins to hurt. According to WebMD and MayoClinic, symptoms may include:

  • Pain, decreased range of motion, and tightness in the neck. The muscles may feel hard or knotted.
  • Pain when rocking your head from side to side or backward and forward
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Pain or stiffness when moving your head to look over each shoulder.
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms
  • Headaches at the base of the skull that radiate towards the forehead.
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Depression


Diagnosing Whiplash

To diagnose neck strain, your doctor will give you a thorough examination. You may also need X-rays, CT (computed tomography) scans, and other tests, to rule out additional problems, according to WebMD.

It’s important to remember that the blow that causes neck strain can sometimes cause a concussion, too. Since concussions can be serious, you need to see a doctor for a thorough medical examination right away if you experience whiplash. You need immediate, emergency medical care if you have a headache that worsens or persists, have weakness or trouble talking, or are confused, dizzy, nauseous, excessively sleepy, or unconscious.


Treatment for Whiplash

Given time, whiplash should heal on its own. To support recovery, WebMD suggests:

  • Icing your neck to reduce pain and swelling promptly after the injury. Continue for 15 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days. Wrap the ice in a thin towel or cloth to prevent injury to the skin.
  • Taking painkillers or other medications, only if recommended by your doctor.
  • Using a neck brace or collar if your doctor recommends it. However, these are not recommended for long-term use, as they can actually weaken the muscles in your neck.
  • Applying moist heat to your neck, only after 2-3 days of icing it first. Use heat on your neck only after the initial swelling has gone down.
  • Additional treatments, such as massages

If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your medical expenses and more! Call The Heilman Law Group at 601-914-1025 or send us a message online.


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4266 I-55 North, Suite 106

Jackson, Mississippi 39211

Phone: 601-914-1025

Fax: 601-960-4200

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  • Jackson Office
    4266 I-55 North
    Suite 106
    Jackson, Mississippi 39211
    Phone: 601-914-1025
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