Whiplash Injuries – What to do and How

by allan46 on January 6, 2011

When we talk of car accident injuries – the most common word we hear is ‘whiplash’ injury. In fact the word is so popular, that most neck injuries are referred to as whiplash, regardless of what really caused the injury in the first place. This is also because although everyone uses it, no one understands exactly what whiplash means and which injuries would constitute a whiplash injury.

Essentially, whiplash injury occurs to the muscles, soft tissues and tendons along the vertebral column, when it is jerked forward and back with great speed. The term ‘whiplash’ is visually descriptive because it denotes the way in which the spinal cord is shaped – much like a curved whip – and also describes to some extent the movement of the cord when it is shaken with force. Such sudden movement causes considerable strain the muscles and tissues surrounding the spinal cord – particularly towards the neck since that’s the part which has no support, and in fact supports the head. The spine jerks, causing the head with all its weight to jerk thus causing strain and injury to muscles of the neck. This is termed as whiplash injury.

Road accidents, particularly car accidents are the ‘ideal’ setting for whiplash injuries. Vehicles moving fast and coming to an abrupt halt cause passengers sitting inside to lose their momentum, and jerk forward and back violently. At times whiplash injuries also result from falls and slips that hurt or strain the spinal cord.

Whiplash injuries almost go hand in hand with car accidents however take longer to heal than most other injuries. This is the case with any back injury – it usually takes the spinal cord and other tissues months to heal completely. Symptoms are not very confusing: shooting pain in the neck and back, tenderness in the neck muscles, difficulty in moving the neck, difficulty swallowing, or sitting in a particular posture, bending or while trying to stand, stiffness in the shoulder – are all signs of whiplash injury.

Although they take long to heal, treatment is not expensive. Rest is the best form of treatment. Your physician will advise a complete rest from physical activities apart from walking around. Along with that, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medications and nutritional supplements may be recommended. Sometime you may have to wear an orthopedic belt. Once the pain has subsided and you’ve recovered strength to some extent, your physician will also recommend exercises to strengthen the muscles.

For all sorts of whiplash claims and other car injury claims, claims4negligence.co.uk is a one-stop resource.
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