More than ever before, the roads throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island are filled with distracted drivers. This increase in distracted driving inevitably leads to an uptick in rear-end car accidents. You can get “rear-ended” on the highway or in city traffic at both high and low speeds resulting in a variety of back and neck injuries, the most common being whiplash.
What Causes Whiplash?
A rear impact car accident causes movement of the structures within the neck changing the normal curve of the upper back and neck. The sudden backward movement (extension) and forward movement (flexion) can cause the joints of the neck to be injured and can also cause the muscles and ligaments of the neck and upper back to be over-stretched. The neck is particularly vulnerable to this type of injury because of its ability to move in many directions.
How Whiplash is Diagnosed
Even if your neck pain is only mild, you should be examined by a doctor as soon as possible. It can sometimes take days or weeks for the true severity of your injury to come out. They may take x-rays to rule out any bone fractures. A CT scan or MRI may also be done if there is concern of you having a herniated disc or ligament injury. These tests are better able to identify soft tissue injuries than plain radiographs.
Symptoms of Whiplash
The primary and most common symptom of whiplash is neck or upper back pain. The pain may start immediately, but sometimes develops days, weeks, or even months later. Symptoms can vary widely. Here are some common symptoms:
- Tightness or spasms of the muscles the neck or upper back.
- Pain with movement of the neck, headache and dizziness.
- Difficulty swallowing and chewing and hoarseness.
- Abnormal sensations such as burning or tingling.
- Shoulder pain.
How Is Whiplash Treated?
There are a variety of treatments for whiplash, depending on the severity of the injury. Fortunately, with time, the vast majority of people who have had a whiplash injury fully recover.
- Your doctor will test your range of motion and determine which muscles are injured.
- X-rays or other imaging tests will be taken to confirm that it is indeed whiplash.
- Pain medication will likely be prescribed, as well as a foam collar to reduce movement.
- In some cases your doctor may recommend physical therapy.
Contact A New Bedford – Fall River – Providence Area Auto Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were injured in a rear-end motor vehicle accident and suffered lost wages and pain recovering from whiplash, contact one of our experienced attorneys. We will walk you through the details of your claim and help you to get the compensation that you deserve.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.