No whiplash symptoms guide can ever be completely comprehensive. This is because the range of soft tissue injuries and other symptoms of whiplash can vary considerably from person to person. It is also important that the symptoms of whiplash may not materialise straight away. It could be weeks before you experience the aches and pains typically associated with whiplash – by which time you may have inadvertently worsened your injury.
What Causes the Symptoms of Whiplash?
The most frequent cause of a whiplash-related injury is a rear-end car accident. The impact of a vehicle hitting you from behind hyper-extends the ligaments, nerves and muscles surrounding the neck and upper back as your head snaps forward and back again. A rear-end car accident with a speed differential of just 15 miles per hour (24 kilometres per hour) between the two vehicles can produce enough energy to cause the symptoms of whiplash.
Women and young children will often experience more severe symptoms of whiplash. This is attributed their generally weaker neck muscles and because of the way they sit in cars – women, whether a passenger or driver, tending to sit more upright. It has also been identified that passengers of either sex may also experience more severe symptoms of whiplash due to not having the same forewarning of an imminent impact as a driver has in their rear-view mirror.
The Whiplash Symptoms Guide to Injuries
Our whiplash symptoms guide to the most common injuries sustained in a rear-end car accident has been compiled from multiple sources. It is important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by sporting activities, accidental falls, objects falling on heads, and physical assaults. Should you experience any of the injuries listed in our whiplash symptoms guide below, it is recommended that you seek professional medical advice, as these symptoms may be masking more serious injuries.
- Neck Pain – particularly tenderness around the neck.
- Neck Stiffness – particularly when trying to move your head.
- Decreased Range of Motion due to hard or knotted muscles.
- Headaches or Dizziness – often occurs soon after impact.
- Pin and Needles – in your upper back, in your arms or in your legs.
- Shooting Pains – from the neck area to your shoulders or arms.
- Referred Pain – often in your shoulders or upper arms.
- Fatigue or Blurred Vision – often a late-developing symptom of whiplash.
Treatment for the Symptoms of Whiplash
Due to their nature, most symptoms of whiplash are difficult to diagnose and – most frequently – your injuries should heal on their own. However, most doctors will recommend the short-term use of a neck brace (long-term use can weaken the neck muscles), painkillers to manage the pain and the application of ice to reduce any swelling. Your doctor may also recommend massage or ultrasound treatment depending on the nature of your symptoms.
Once you have received treatment for the symptoms of whiplash, it is advisable to seek professional legal advice if your injuries were sustained in an accident for which you were not to blame. Although there is a process for claiming whiplash injury compensation through the Injuries Board, settlements – included those offered to you by insurance companies – rarely reflect the true extent of an injury and its consequences to your quality of life.
In much the same way as the symptoms of whiplash can vary considerably from person to person, so can settlements of whiplash injury compensation. Make sure you receive the settlement of whiplash injury compensation you are entitled to by speaking with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity.