Whiplash Injuries, Are They Taken Seriously Enough?

by allan46 on January 25, 2011

Copyright (c) 2010 Robert Gray

Whiplash is the name given to an injury sustained to the neck when it is suddenly and unexpectedly thrown back and forth causing trauma. The term whiplash is often used very loosely these days, for any minor pain or discomfort in the neck following an accident, but when a genuine case of whiplash is present it can be a very unpleasant experience for the person suffering from the injury. It may be that the whiplash injury, or suspected whiplash injury, is either not being taken seriously enough by the person who has suffered the injury – i.e. they feel they have not got time to go and get it checked out by their GP or genuinely believe they should do nothing and just wait for the symptoms to pass – or maybe it is not being taken seriously enough by their GP when being assessed.

It is important that a case of whiplash, once diagnosed, is closely monitored to assess how the injury and recovery progresses. Symptoms of whiplash are often not immediately apparent and if you visit your GP, for example, on the same day of the accident you may only be experiencing some mild discomfort. However, your GP should advise you that symptoms can appear over the next couple of days and may increase in severity. In particular, swelling and bruising does not often appear for a couple of days after the accident and any pain and stiffness may not be present until the day after the accident and may thereafter increase over the next few days, or even weeks.

Minor symptoms of whiplash include stiffness and pain in the neck, swelling to the neck, tenderness in the back of the neck, reduction in neck movement and headaches. You may also experience lower back pain, pain, numbness and pins and needles in your arms and hands, muscle spasms, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, tiredness, blurred vision, tinnitus and vertigo. In more serious cases of whiplash you may also experience memory loss, poor concentration and irritability.

In a small number of cases, pain becomes long term, lasting for six months or more which can have a debilitating affect on the sufferer’s lifestyle to varying extents. The pain and discomfort can bring on anxiety and depression and every day activities such as driving, going to work, carrying out household chores and looking after the family can be affected.

It is important that if you suspect you have sustained a whiplash injury you take the injury seriously and visit your GP for a full assessment. The correct treatment is vital in your recovery process and doing nothing, which may sometimes seem like the easy or obvious option, can often make your injury worse. Genuine cases of whiplash can often cause significant and sometimes long lasting symptoms which need to be managed and treated properly.

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